Have a Nice Day (2007)

Duration: 10:00 minutes

Instrumentation: flute, clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), violin, cello, piano, percussion

Premiere: June 21, 2008 at Music08 in Cincinnati, OH by Leah Arsenault, flute, Jason Denner, clarinets, Alvina Tan, violin, Micah Fusselman, cello, Vicky Chow, piano, Bonnie Whiting-Smith, percussion


     This piece was written in the spring and summer of 2007, inspired, at least in part, by four of Saul Steinberg’s cartoons.

I. Now: This is a drawing of a clock and a vase on a mantelpiece. On the clock, the numbers 1-12 are each replaced with the word “NOW.”

II. Untitled: A man is drawing a large circle around himself; the line of the circle is connected to the outline of the man, suggesting that he has actually been drawing himself, without realizing it.

III. Count-Up: This is a drawing of a man walking on steps made of progressively taller numbers, 1-9, which are constructed near a precipice. The man is heading towards zero, the last and largest step, with is also hanging, unsupported, just beyond the edge of the cliff.

     The title, Have a Nice Day, is taken from another drawing, this one of a large fish eating a smaller fish. The large fish has “Have a Nice Day” written on it; as if to answer, the small fish has “No Problem” written on it.