Generally speaking, I tend to emphasize the positive in life with my music, and thus lightness and humor are not foreign to me. However, for no apparent reason, echo yes no (2019) for two harps and live electronics, as with my Piangerò la sorte mia (2018) for mezzo soprano and ensemble, originates from a darker place—"Worry, don’t be happy". echo yes no was commissioned by the harp duo Aecstasy—Alice Belugou and Estelle Costanzo—with the intention of performing it before or after Karlheinz Stockhausen's JOY (FREUDE) for two harps. Thus, my work is complementary to JOY but musically makes no reference to it except through the instrumentation. There is therefore no joyous anticipation, no joyful citation, and no tears of joy. Instead, echo yes no an inner struggle with a difficult, momentous decision, supported by a touch of hope and confidence in redemption from inner turmoil.
- Mike Svoboda, May 2019