Si fallor, Sum (2008) for piano

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Instrumentation: piano

Duration: 9 minutes

Premiere: March 19 2009 | Hui-Ling Khoo | Singapore

Performance: July 2009 | Abigail Sin | Singapore
March 2010 | Sophia Yan | New York NY
May 2011 | Michael Sheppard | Baltimore MD
September 9 2012 | May Phang | Greencastle IN
April 24 2013 | Abigail Sin | Singapore
May 5 2013 | Abigail Sin | Singapore

Program Notes: The foundations of Western philosophy can be seen in ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (‘I think, therefore I am’), a philosophical statement used by René Descartes in his Discourse on Method (1637). Although the idea expressed in ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ is widely attributed to Descartes, many predecessors offer similar arguments — particularly St. Augustine of Hippo in De Civitate Dei: ‘Si […] fallor, sum’ (‘If I am mistaken, I am’) (book XI, 26).
“For if I am mistaken, I am. For one who does not exist cannot be mistaken either.” – St. Augustine of Hippo

Si fallor, sum is written as a concert-opening piece with its brash opening chords that wakes the audiences’ ears. These chords cast the foundations of the harmonic language and melodic motives to follow in the piece. Si fallor, sum is like a smorgasbord of sounds, created by the organic, spontaneous and continuous development of the opening gesture; like Si fallor, sum had developed into what we see as Western philosophical thought today.