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Christopher Cerrone

Double Happiness

version for piano, percussion, and electronics

(2012 (arr. 2016))
Duration12'
MovementsI. Self Portrait, Part I
II. Interlude I
III. Self Portrait, Part II
IV. Interlude II
V. New Year's Song (for Sarah)
CommissionDouble Happiness was commissioned by the Living Earth Show (Travis Andrews, piano and Andrew Meyerson, percussion) as was premiered by the same group at the Fast Forward Austin Festival in Austin, TX on April 4, 2013.
The version for piano and percussion was commissioned by Chris Sies, Jani Parsons, Garrett Mendelow, and Satoko Hayami and premiered at the Marimba Festival in Samobar, Croatia, on September 19, 2016.
PremiereThe Marimba Festival in Samobar, Croatia, on September 19, 2016 by Garrett Mendelow, and Satoko Hayami
Technical requirementsSee preview pages for technical details.
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

Double Happiness was written in the fall of 2012. While the piece was composed in New York, much of the piece was inspired by a summer spent in Italy while I was a fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s castle in Umbria. I spent a lot of my time in Italy collecting field recordings of the Italian countryside, the sounds of church bells, train stations, and rainstorms. All of these sounds eventually found their way into Double Happiness as I constructed an emotional narrative around the sounds I experienced.

The piece consists of three larger movements connected by two (almost) identical interludes. The first movement, “Self Portrait, Part I,” explores the simple repetition of four simple notes, obsessive in their melancholy. The detuned guitar, plays only harmonics, while the vibraphone always plays gently sustained notes; both are paired with ambient noises and simple sustaining electronics (hovering in and around the pitches) that further maintain the mood. The movement ends on an optimistic note as the four repeated notes slowly transform into a downward moving chorale that leads inexorably to a celebratory D major chord.

The mood of the first movement is cut off quickly. Summer in Umbria is hot and dry and always ends quite abruptly with a long and extreme rain storm that cuts the heat; unexpectedly it’s autumn out of nowhere. I used the sound of this rainstorm to create the same effect in my interludes in Double Happiness. The first interlude features the rainstorm, two gentle chords in the guitar and the vibraphone player plays my transcription of four church bells heard ringing asynchronously in the distance.

If the first Self Portrait explores extremes of melancholy, the third movement, “Self Portrait, Part II” is an extreme study in joy, ecstatic joy that comes from the feeling of creation itself—the feeling can be almost as uncontrollable as melancholy. The third movement features a field recording of a rhythmic train station bell. This sound is coupled with the percussionist playing a simple and very rhythmic melody over and over again, augmented with resonant and microtonal electronics, giving the whole movement an extremely bright, metallic sheen. Eventually the guitar joins the vibraphone in a very careful and detailed rhythmic hocket as the movement spins out more and more vibrantly.

The third movement cuts off as quickly as the first and we once again have an interlude. The second interlude is more austere than the first with the transcription of a simple and extraordinarily resonant church bell ringing against the chords of the guitar and the rainstorm again.

The final movement, “New Year’s Song (for Sarah)” tries to find a place of repose between the two extremes. The movement is in fact a simple song where the two performers play a long, sustained melody in the melodica and harmonics against their own sustained chords. A brief moment of electronics features the composer himself playing violin, and accordion. The movement ends gently, sustainedly, and I would hope happily.

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Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Score and part (Digital)

Score and part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)