Pnema (2018) by Jon Yu
for clarinet and violin
Earplay commission

In Pnema, I wanted to trace the fragility of breath in its various gradations. Our breathing, a source of internal rhythms, attunes our body to our surrounding. The two instruments here generate patterns of exhalation and inhalation, sometimes in union, other times in opposition. The sound of the clarinet presents a particularly resonant color that is coupled with the more complex grains of the violin. These two sound worlds represent both the ease and strain of breath. The title is of course a reference to the Greek word pneuma, with a slight change in its vowel.

— J. Y.