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Three Curios
for solo piano
(2016)

 

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I think of these pieces as little objects that are simple and direct, yet slightly eccentric. At times they seem to be based on traditional notions of harmony or phrasing, but they don’t always get those aspects exactly “right”. It’s as if what appears to be common little figurines, upon closer inspection, reveal themselves to be more varied, colorful, complex and unpredictable than a quick glance might reveal.

I - Mutable Phrase
This piece sounds a bit obsessive because all the phrases begin the same way. It almost sounds like somebody repeating a simple one-phrase statement, but constantly changing it with the hope of writing a perfectly nuanced phrase.

II - Sparks in Emptiness
The use of the sostenuto pedal in this piece creates an effect of reverberating empty space. Within that space, little bursts of energy then begin appearing. To my ears, it sounds like flashes of light in an empty dark space.

III - Silent Blue Tides
This piece is based on a slowly moving and somewhat unpredictable chord progression. A duo of simple melodies then floats on that chord progression, rising and falling with the moods of that large blue sea.

(performance time ca. 8 min.)