A solid object, like the chair you’re sitting on or this piece of paper, appears static and unchanging to the naked eye. But if we were able to zoom in and look at these objects at the molecular level, we would see a huge amount of activity—microscopic organisms moving and multiplying, molecules vibrating against each other. Saying a word is also seemingly banal, but if we zoomed into the moments before speaking, we would observe a huge amount of activity as well—decisions considered and made in the blink of an eye. “To Speak, Perchance” is a sort of musical microscope that explores those moments—the gathering of phonemes, the stringing together of words, the anxieties of saying the wrong thing. Over the course of the piece, the four musicians piece together a wide variety of sounds, aiming to find just the right phrase out of myriad possibilities.
To Speak, Perchance was premiered at the 2016 Yarn/Wire Summer Institute at Stony Brook University by Laura Barger, Russell Greenberg, Gina Lee, and Paula Pinero Quesada.