As We May Think is a percussion solo for multi-keyboard (marimba/vibraphone) and electronic playback. It was premiered in February 26, 2014 at the University of South Alabama Laidlaw Performing Arts Center by percussionist Nick Stange.
This work is inspired by an article by the same title written by Vannevar Bush, an American engineer, inventor, and scientist, which first appeared in The Atlantic in 1945. In it, Bush predicts many modern day technologies such as personal computing, hypertext, the internet, and Wikipedia (interconnected, searchable encyclopedias). Bush also discusses his concerns with the direction of scientific efforts towards destruction, rather than understanding and suggests a machine, which he called the Memex, that would combine lower level technologies to achieve a higher level of organized knowledge.
The spoken component of the playback audio comes from an interview with Vannevar Bush. A transcription of the statement reads:
…and the relations, the resemblances between the brain’s operations and the operations of a modern analytical machine, is a fascinating aspect of it.
As We May Think was commissioned by and is dedicated to Nick Stange.