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A Hudson Cycle (2005)

for Megan & Charles on their wedding

A Hudson Cycle was written as a wedding gift for two friends. This is music of longing and anticipation; losing a beautiful place, approaching a beloved person. The right hand and the left struggle to synchronise, now succeeding, now failing to coincide. The primary rhythmic figure””a restless polyrhythm of two beats in the right hand for every three in the left””should recall the onward rush of the titular river. – Program Notes © 2007 Daniel Johnson

Composer’s Note: One of the worst things that can happen to you when you live in New York is that your friends get married and move away. A Hudson Cycle is, while dedicated specifically to my friend Megan, dedicated also to everybody left behind.

A Hudson Cycle is recorded on Bedroom Community Hvalur 001 (Nico Muhly Speaks Volumes).

[audio:06 Hudson Cycle Excerpt.mp3]
Nico Muhly, piano

Nico tracking A Hudson Cycle in Salurinn, Kópavogur

Nico tracking A Hudson Cycle in Salurinn, Kópavogur


  • softness, yearning, loss, love, left, and taken.





  • Haunting….I was truly moved by this piece….

    Hopefully I can come to see you at the NY Public Library…



  • This made me cry at work. Beautiful piece Nico.

  • just FINALLY got my hands on Speaks Volumes and this track made me sob. uncontrollably. it sounds like a melancholy dialogue between two solitudes – a place, a person. gorgeous.

  • This is a sublime piece and my favorite from Speaks Volumes, in fact I like it so much I’ve got a copy of the score and am in the process of learning it – this way you can linger over bits that take your breath away!

  • I directly relate to this gorgeous interlude, this paean to loss, with its suggestive name. The repetitive quietude of its strain reminds me of pedaling. Cyclists pass by, follow rivers for the flat planes of terrain, and you seldom see them again. Cyclists and rivers flow together. You may not want to associate with the sweaty third of traffic, but welcome to the law of unintended consequences. I’ll be adding it to my blog and list of 1,000 songs recorded about bicycling.

  • Wow, hypnotic; highly poetic music. I like your use of ‘2s against 3s’ interlocking rhythms too, it evokes life’s pattern of people’s experience and how we all interact.

    Do you have a twitter page or something?

    thanks a lot,