Written for the Freiburg, Germany-based Ensemble SurPlus, this piece takes its title from a mysterious painting by the Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, but it concerns a whimsical drawing that Picasso sketched at the bottom of a note to Leo Stein (Gertrude’s brother) accepting a luncheon invitation & an offer to be shown the Steins’ collection of Gauguins. The drawing, which features three naked, well-fed dancing figures, is captioned “Une très belle danse barbare.” The music I wrote is what I like to think these barbarians are dancing to as they dance off into the night.

James Avery in memoriam.