Well-Spent (2011) was written in response to a line in one of Leonardo’s notebooks that I came across soon after traveling down the Mississippi River by kayak and bicycle in 2009.
L’acqua che tochi de fiumi, è l’ultima di quella che andò, e la prima di quelle che viene; così il tempo presente. La vita bene spesa lunga è.
Leonardo: Notebook 1174
The water you touch in a river
is the last that has passed
and the first that is coming;
so with the present moment.
The well-spent life is long.
The pre-recorded track of Well-Spent is made from Mary Rowell’s recording of the Muddy Waters 1942 tune You Got to Take Sick and Die Some of These Days. Well-Spent was commissioned by Ron Blessinger and the Third Angle Ensemble in memory of Donna Drummond. Many thanks to the Montalvo Arts Center, where I made the piece.
Here is a solo live performance by Mary Rowell:
It’s also possible to perform Well-Spent with two live violins along with the pre-recorded track. You can hear the duo version performed by Ron Blessinger and Mary Rowell by visiting April 19 in my ongoing project A Book of Days.
Here is a score of the piece in pdf format.
After you click the donation button below, you’ll get a link to download the pre-recorded track. If you’d like an Ableton Live session for easy click playback, just let me know.