I Eat Alone
SSAA, soloists, piano | Duration c. 6'00"
Hewitt Hill Music
I Eat Alone was commissioned as a part of the #MidwestHungerIs campaign at the Writing Center of Michigan State University and was premiered by the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Sandra Snow in 2016. This piece is based on a selection of writings that were submitted as a part of the campaign, the final text being an amalgamation of the ideas of several female participants at various stages of life; “young motherhood,” “mid-life” and “old age.” The work tracks the occurrence of eating alone throughout these stages, progressing from a rare moment of welcome solitude in young motherhood, to a common occurrence in mid-life, and finally to a cause for outright loneliness in old age.
With the constant false/cross relations between D natural and D flat, much of this work is modally in the form of a deconstructed B flat blues scale, with the D flat major chord being based on one of the blue notes. The dirge-like harmonic progression found in much of the piece, which is reminiscent of a short passacaglia, lends a degree of uncertainty to an already rather dark subject. The performers should not shy away from this, and should welcome the feeling of lonely desperation in the climax and final bars of the work.