for alto flute, bass clarinet, piano, percussion, viola, cello and live electronics
Composer: Paul Schuette
“Democracy is lovely, but baseball is more mature.” – Richard Greenberg
In my never ending search for formal models which paradoxically display properties of randomness and asymmetry yet completeness and structure, I turned to baseball. The skeleton of this piece (although it wouldn’t be apparent unless I told you) is derived from a scorecard I kept of a Cubs/Cardinals game. The title references what one commentator refers to as “a move which has worked once in the last twenty years” – the Look to Third, throw to first. In homage to the many paradoxes that lie latent within the game of baseball (for example, it’s a pastoral game with urban roots) there is a second possible, more literal, reading of the title. This is music which is inspired by the features of sculpture, the art form which dwells in the third dimension and utilizes space, volume and perspective. Baseball is often described as poetry in motion, and any true fan of the game can speak to this point for hours as they describe the beauty and intricacies of watching an infield in motion as a ball is perfectly bunted down the line or the excitement of judging whether a throw from the outfield will beat out a runner at the plate. These motions through space become the narrative, the story of each game. Every baseball game has 9 innings, 27 outs per team, yet each game, each story is different and unique. It is these aspects of the game that this piece tries to capture, for each movement, with the aid of electronics, presents essentially the same structural narrative but in a unique way, from a unique physical perspective. Imaging how the same musical materials would react and resonate as they move through different physical spaces guided the creation of this piece, and is the way in which the piece “looks to third” for inspiration – I’m still working on the throw to first.