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Weather Sketches
for solo piano
(2019)

 

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This piece was composed for the 2019 Earth Day new music festival at Xinghai School of Music. In keeping with the festival’s theme relating to the Earth, I chose to focus on a couple aspects of the Earth’s weather. Musically, the interval of the 5th appears throughout both movements because, just as the weather is a primal aspect of life on Earth, so the 5th is a primal element of music and timbre.

“Dry Spell”, the first of these two sketches evokes the empty dry feeling of a summer drought. In this movement, the 5ths not only help create a sense of space, they also provide color and, near the end, are used to evoke heat slowly rising from the Earth’s surface. The second movement, “Gentle Rain” is built around two basic ideas, one gently falling and the other steadily rising. The falling idea represents gentle rain and the rising idea represents plants and trees rising out of the Earth and reaching toward the sky.

(performance time ca. 8 min.)