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Whispers of Ethereality

for Cello and Piano

Premiere performance: February 7, 2024 by Victor Huls, cello and Wesley Ducote, piano at the Howey Music Series.

After my wife, Emily, formally invited Victor to play in the Howey Music Series inaugural gala, one of Victor’s first comments to me was, “well, we have to play one of your pieces!” My friendship with Victor extends back to 2007 and since then I have composed over 10 works for him to perform. Of course it would’ve been simple enough for us to pick an old one from the list, but this occasion called for something new. Since this event centered around the idea of Valentine’s Day, my earliest sketches were of romantic melodies and warm accompanimental figures. However, none of these initial sketches struck the mood I was really looking for. 


Further in the process, Victor suggested I could write something that is less romantic and more “refreshing” (his exact word), and this struck me. Having recently listened to Argo Pärt’s Spiegal im Speigal, I sought to create a similar mood with a high-registered repetitive piano part and a long beautiful cello line. Inadvertently, the first two notes of the piano part in my piece are the exact same first two notes in Pärt’s piece (same key even!); however, while this was not intentional, it does provide a nice homage to the inspiration behind the work. Thus, Whispers of Ethereality was born out of Pärt’s concept, but composed with much less repetition. 


Outside of the cello’s rather lengthy cadenza in the middle of the piece, the piano part remains steady with atmospheric quarter notes and a complete lack of any true meter. These soft luminescent piano notes, which often sound a bit random, create the ethereal mood for which the piece gets it title. While my goal was to have an evocative title, there is no overt narrative to accompany it—rather, I prefer the listener to have the freedom to sit back and contemplate what a quiet celestial reality might be like. 

Recording Coming Soon!


Instrumentation: Cello and Piano


Duration: About 5 minutes

Dedication: For my friend, Victor

Score available for purchase.

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