To Spill Oneself Away

piano solo

Program Notes:

To Spill Oneself Away is a moto perpetuo, meaning that it is constantly in motion: there is never a breath or a pause in the work.  It was written in 2021 for pianist Matthew McCright, a personal friend.  The title is a paraphrase of a line from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book Gift from the Sea, which chronicles the stages of a woman’s life, and still resonates with me each time I read it.  The relevant passage states: “Is this then what happens to woman? She wants perpetually to spill herself away.  All her instinct as a woman – the eternal nourisher of children, of men, of society – demands that she give.” While as a middle-aged woman this quote resonates with me, I believe it to resonate with most human beings.  We give, in order to nurture, to support, to maintain health and happiness, and hopefully to leave the world in a better place than we find it. It is exhausting work, but done from love, from need, and from optimism.  It is a Gift.

February 11, 2021
Matthew McCright
Carleton College
Northfield, MN
Commissioner: Matthew McCright