Memos for Piano
These "Memos for Piano" reflect some of my musical interests: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (especially the rhythmic and structural precision); the contrapuntal music of Bach (especially as reflected in the meticulous and introverted performances of Glen Gould); jazz (especially the corporeal ecstasy of syncopation and the sensuality of extended harmonies); music theater (the sudden turns and dramaturgy that shape its musical structures); cartoon music (the humorous, archetypal, and disjunctive programmatic qualities), the ironic spirituality in Chopin's Etudes, Impromptus, and Waltzes; Bartok's Microcosmos; and a number of other things.
When I began writing these piano pieces I had been away from composing for a while due to touring, working on my house in Taos, NM, and mostly due to the long work of creating the video for our newest music theater work, Cybeline. I began the works as something like Impromptus to get my compositional "chops" back in practice. I also like the way I can compose a group of them (usually five or six at a time,) and have them available for listening on the web almost as soon as they're finished. My wife, Abbie, suggested that they're something like E-Melodies. I liked the term, even if the works focus on more than just melody.
I can email PDF scores to those who might like to see the notes. I strived for spontaneity in these works; each piece takes an average of about a day and a half to compose. A few of the more complicated ones took up to three days.
The pieces also seem to reflect some of the ideas going through my mind as I work on the concept and text for our newest music theater production. It will be about vlogging -- a blog delivered in video format. The new work, at least as I see it at this point, will be about a vlogger. It will be built around her daily entries sung before a video camera. It will explore her aspirations and doubt as she tries to reach the world as an artist.
These Memos for Piano are dedicated to Kurt Frederik.
The composition dates:
Numbers 1-11 (January 2007)
Numbers 12-16 (8 or 9 days in late March and early April 2007)
Numbers 17-22 (About two weeks in November 2007)
Numbers 23-27 (About two weeks in December 2007)
Numbers 28-30 (About ten days at the end of January and early February 2008)
Total length: 61 minutes.