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Tidying Up for piano and viola: MLD - SC02

Tidying Up was written in spring of 2015 in response to my nephew Nick's death in a motorcycle crash the previous November. I was writing a memorial work for him, and I was trying to finish it before his birthday anniversary but was having trouble as his birthday neared, and all the loose ends surrounding the crash were being tidied up. I screamed, “It just feels like we're all tidying up!” I started to cry but felt a warm feeling wash over my body which I have come to associate with a “visit from Nick.” As I sat at the piano, it felt like this piece began to write itself. In the resulting bitonal work, the piano and viola both have very distinct personalities which is heard in their “conversation.” At one point, an argument ensues as the viola tries to convince the piano that grief and“moving on” do not mean forgetting.

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