Either Ether
piano solo

Robert Morris

Program Notes

The curious title derives from both Western science and Eastern philosophy. The "ether" refers to the "void" (S'unyata) or generative emptiness of Mahayana Buddhism, the Taoist Chi (literally meaning "gas", denoting the vital breath or energy animating the cosmos), and the "field theory" of nuclear physics where "virtual particles" are formed out of nothingness and then disappear into the void. I imagine the structure of Either Ether--of registers and densities--to be a kind of empty uniformity which, when compositionally interpreted or realized, gives rise to a complete world of psychological states and interactions. The work sometimes plays piano resonance off against "dry" unpedaled staccato sound which may remind the listener that in an infinitely vast environment there can be no echoes.