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Furtive movements is a phrase found in many reports from the New York City Police Department: it is the most commonly cited reason individuals were detained under the Stop and Frisk policy. This phrase is striking to me, because it claims to describe a person's movements but really speaks more to the expectations of the officer observing them. The phrase conveys the assumption of guilt -- furtiveness -- based on appearance or demeanor in a given moment.
Writing this piece, I was inspired by the idea of freeing an individual from the role(s) they may be expected to fulfill. The cello and the drum set (timbrally and acoustically very different forces) may be more easily defined by their differences than their similarities. So my challenge in writing Furtive movements was to call their assumed identities into question and to try and blur the lines between their musical roles. Rhythmic and melodic responsibilities are shifted fluidly between players, and there are long passages where the instruments play in unison.