Pura Vida is one of those pieces that just appears. It is one of very few pieces I have composed that did not already have a performance scheduled. It was my great good fortune that the first person I showed it to, Cindy Wu, said she wanted to perform it on her series of Sunkiss’d Mozart concerts. Cindy assembled a fine quartet for the performance: Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu and Mimi Jung, violins, David Samuel, viola, and Evan Kahn, cello. This quartet performed and recorded the piece on May 21, 2022.
“Pura Vida” is a greeting used in Costa Rica; it is much like Aloha in that it is used for hello and goodbye, and it very much represents the Costa Rican’s outlook on life which is pure joy.! I preface the score with a quote from the 1st Century, C. E. poet, Seikilos:
While you live, shine
have no grief at all
life exists only for a short while
and Time demands its due.