Are you yet living? was co-commissioned by The Walden School and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). It was composed in Cambridge, Massachusetts and completed in June of 2016.
The piece explores the inevitable failure of two people trying (or even competing) to achieve true synchronicity. The competitive nature between the two protagonists also leads them to compete for the “most delicate sound” award, a feat that requires a great deal of strength and self-control.
The players are tasked with responding to different flavors of togetherness throughout the piece, from some very detailed, specific instructions to varying degrees of freedom and chance allowances. In order to search for the most delicate sound, the players are invited to leave the purely musical world and become more and more steeped in the theatrical performative world.
The title of the piece comes from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, specifically the witty bickering between Beatrice and Benedick, which inspired much of the sassiness of the duo.