Chain of Circumstances

Complete Work Title: 

Chain of Circumstances


Performance Medium: 

solo piano or piano four hands, with optional dancer and/or interactive computer music


Duration: 

variable (c.7:00-15:00)


Dedication: 

To Richard Shuster and Jordan Fuchs


Date Composed: 

February-March 2020


Performance Information: 

This work may also be presented in a video realization, featuring pianist Richard Shuster and dancer/choreographer Jordan Fuchs.


Additional Information: 

Performance/Broadcast History: 
  • 10 September 2022, Texas Woman's University Dance Studio Theater (Denton, TX)..
  • 9 September 2022, Texas Woman's University Dance Studio Theater (Denton, TX).

    Intermedia version: Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer; Stephen Lucas, technical assistant; Dayna Ballenger, audio; Roma Flowers, lighting.

  • 18 May 2022, Society of Slovenian Composers (Ljubljana, Slovenia).
  • 16 May 2022; Franz Liszt Academy (Budapest, Hungary).

    Richard Shuster, piano.

  • 28 March 2022; University of North Texas (Denton, TX).

    Richard Shuster & Éva Polgár, pianos.

  • 26 March 2022; Grayson College (Dennison, TX).
  • 25 March 2022; Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX).

    Richard Shuster & Éva Polgár, pianos; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer.

  • 10 March 2022; Tempo Reale Lampi di Rete—online audiovisual marathon, sponsored by the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music—CIME/ICME (Florence, IT).
  • 5 March 2022; Washington State University (Pullman, WA) and live-streamed — 2022 Contemporary Art Music Festival.

    Video dance version, featuring Richard Shuster, piano; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer.

  • 4 February 2022; online performance — originally scheduled for Steinway Hall (Plano, TX).

    Richard Shuster, piano.

  • 31 January 2022; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

    intermedia version: Richard Shuster, piano; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer; Stephen Lucas, technical assistant; Christopher Poovey, lighting.

  • 30 November 2021; Magyar Optikai Művek Kulturális Központ (Budapest, HU).

    Richard Shuster, piano.

  • 20 November 2021; screening for AudioVisual Frontiers Virtual Exhibition, University of California, Riverside (online exhibition)
  • 19 November through December 5 2021; screening for FilmFest by Rogue Dancer: Dance NOIR Edition (Raleigh, NC; online festival)

    Video dance version, featuring Richard Shuster, piano; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer.

  • 10 November 2021; Texas Woman's University (Denton, TX).

    Richard Shuster, piano; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer.

  • 23 October 2021; Collora Piano Gallery (Dallas, TX).

    Richard Shuster, piano.

  • 13 October 2021; Church of St. Lawrence (Prague, Czechia), as part of the American Spring Festival 2021.
  • 9 October 2021; Tělocvična na Údolní (Brno, Czechia).
  • 27 September 2021; Městská kulturní zařízení (Hranice, Czechia), as part of the American Spring Festival 2021.
  • 22 September 2021; Základní Umělecká Škola Vladimíra Ambrose (Prostějov, Czechia), as part of American Spring Festival 2021.

    Sára Medková, piano/dancer.

  • 11 September 2021 (two performances); Texas Woman's University (Denton, TX)
  • 10 September 2021 (two performances); Texas Woman's University (Denton, TX) [premiere of live version]

    Richard Shuster, piano; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer.

  • 7 November 2020; Sonic Murals Festival, University of North Texas (Denton, TX) and live-streamed [premiere]

    Video dance version, featuring Richard Shuster, piano; Jordan Fuchs, dancer/choreographer.


Program Notes: 

Chain of Circumstances, for solo pianist or piano four hands (with optional solo dancer and/or interactive computer music), is one of a series of open-form compositions that have occupied my creative interest in recent years. As with the other related works, Chain of Circumstances explores aspects of recombinance, modularity, and non-linear musical structures. In this instance, the work is conceived as a series of disparate, distinctive, and relatively static musical states that provides an ever-changing sonic canvas, which the pianist(s) may alter at will. In performances that include solo dancer and/or electronics, the result is a kind of dynamic and unpredictable “feedback loop” between the various elements.

Chain of Circumstances was supported by a grant from Texas Woman’s University, and composed in February-March 2020 for pianist Richard Shuster and dancer/choreographer Jordan Fuchs, who first performed the work on 10 September 2021. The video version of the work was premiered at the University of North Texas Sonic Murals Festival on 7 November 2020.