How She Could Not Drive was composed for C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective in 2015. Lydia Davis’ short story, which it sets, captures subtle variations on a sometimes anxiety- inducing situation, driving a car, in lyrical prose that elevates a mundane experience into something extraordinary. My setting of this story often evokes anxiety with sustained trills and off-set rhythms in the background, while the story fluidly unfolds in the foreground. Then there is the additional layer of the fixed audio track, in which highway sounds are heard sometimes naturalistically and at other times in rhythmicized form. Taken all together, the musical work aims to transform the text in a similar way as the text transforms the experience it relates.
How She Could Not Drive