How can I live in your world of ideas? takes its unwieldy name from the caption of a cartoon I drew, which depicts a young penguin and his parents in a museum, looking at a painting of a naked woman. This piece starts out as a passacaglia or theme and variations, but is then gradually overtaken by extraneous material from somewhere else entirely. Originally written for two pianos as part of Shy and Mighty, I transcribed it for a solo pianist (myself) because I needed something to play at short notice; in its solo version, however, the pianist must work much more strenuously to denote the mercurial transitions (‘needle-drops’) which characterize the piece.
— Timothy Andres