Me and My Shadow
for solo cello
The 1927 popular song "Me and My Shadow" is a brooding meditation, with the singer "All alone and feeling blue." We often have mixed feelings about our shadow self, that other part of us with qualities we may not like and wish weren't there. Yet we can't ignore these characteristics, as the emotions and desires we might prefer to disown often emerge when we least expect them.
This work displays two different sides of the same musical material. What we hear in the slow ruminative introduction returns later in a different guise - essentially the same, but now transformed into a contrasting personality. Alternating colorful techniques and styles of playing (including cello "chops," tapping on the instrument, and playing behind the bridge), the two selves can be heard in conversation, sometimes teasing, sometimes in battle. In the end, there is no winner; we can't outrun our shadow, so must learn to embrace it.
Me and My Shadow is dedicated to cellist Jamie Fiste. This recording is from Jamie's brilliant premiere of the piece on October 29, 2015.