Dead Cat Bounce (2009)

for violin, viola, 'cello, clarinet, piano
By Eric Moe
American

A “dead cat bounce” is an expression used in financial circles to describe a brief and temporary uptick in the price of a stock following a spectacular decline in its value. (The decline continues after the bounce). The etymology of the phrase is that “even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from a great enough height”. The term was heard a lot in the fall of 2008. Dead cat bounces are clear only in hindsight: no one knows at the time whether the market has bottomed out and a recovery is in progress or whether it is doomed to fall still further. In a similar way – though fortunately no one’s shirt is at stake – the musical argument of this piece is designed to keep the listener in some suspense about what will happen next. Additionally, the title evokes a number of bebop tunes; Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce” perhaps the best known. Dead Cat Bounce was commissioned by counter)induction. It was a great pleasure and privilege to write for this superb ensemble. The work is dedicated, with affection, to Mario Davidovsky.

Other works by Eric Moe:
“We need an external standard of criticism, we need a set of alternative assumptions... we need a dreamworld in order to discover the features of the real world we think we inhabit. ”
--Paul K. Feyerabend, Against Method