Work » Projects » Mysteries, Yes 2019

Mysteries, Yes was written for mezzo-soprano, viola, wine glass, and electronics and performed by the intrepid duo SpacePants (Jennifer Beattie & Diana Wade). The piece draws on the timbral discrepancies between these instruments, and stays in pitched unions throughout much of the piece.

A wine class (tuned to C5) is rubbed throughout the piece, though is often occluded by the musical lines performed by the duo in combination with the electronics. The electronics feature mostly sine tones that form a very simple textural counterpoint with the melodic line articulated by the duo. The material, as such, aims for a transparency so as to bring out the coloristic nuance throughout the piece. Visually, the piece seems to emanate entirely from the wine glass.d

The text utilized in the piece is a phrase taken from 17th-century work by Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis. The title of the piece is drawn from a poem by Mary Oliver by the same name. In its simplicity, the piece seeks to evoke the sentiment Oliver draws out in her poem when she writes, “Let me keep company always with this who say ‘Look!’ and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.”

Mysteries, Yes was premiered by SpacePants at the Oh My Ears festival in Phoenix (AZ) in January 2019. They have since toured with the piece and recently recorded it at The TANK Center for Sonic Arts.


viola, voice, electronics
Jennifer Beattie · mezzo soprano
Diana Wade · viola
SpacePants ·