Written in 2012, ‘Battle of Wits’ is for piano duet with percussion, that is, the two pianists also have percussion instruments to play – a pair each of bongos and conga drums. It was written for and dedicated to the Maclé Duo and it lasts just over 3 minutes.
The title suggests an argument between two people, each with very strong characters and points of view. In the score, a text is provided with each musical phrase, suggesting the progress of the argument. The drums are used to ‘drum home’ each player’s argument. This leads to a fight, when both players use the drums. The ‘stop’ signal is provided by the first piano stroking inside the piano, after which the pianists play a coda, suggesting that they accept each other’s differences and get along together – in peace.