Motion Preludes

for piano solo

A performance of “Motion Preludes” can be heard on YouTube.

Similar to other preludes, each of these pieces begins with a motivating idea that is developed throughout its length. Stylistically, of course, they are very different. I call them “Motion Preludes” because each one focuses on a different type of continuous motion as described below:

1 - Brownian Movement
Brownian Motion describes the jittery movement of dust or smoke particles suspended in air or a liquid as they get pushed around by the invisibly small air (or liquid) molecules they are suspended in. When viewed under a microscope, only the jittery dust is visible, but in this piece, both the freely roaming molecules and the dust can be heard. Technically, pianists must simultaneously use different musical articulations for different voices.

2 - Summer Brook
This is an easy-going prelude that develops from two basic ideas: the perfect fifth interval and a quietly repeating ostinato. To me, the ostinato sounds like the gentle flow of a quiet stream. Various notes then appear both above and below this stream, not only floating on it, but also interacting with it to produce changing harmonic colors. A pianistic challenge is to balance the volume of the outer parts against the consistently quiet “brook”.

3 - Rickety Roller Coaster
Like a roller coaster, this prelude has many hills and valleys. Because the lengths of note groupings are continuously changing, though, an unstable, perhaps even rickety feeling is created. This is not a modern roller coaster of horrifying speed and agility. It is a quaint old coaster made of wood and steel whose quirks are its charm. It isn’t loud, brash or gymnastic and is generally safe. I’m not sure, though, if this ride ends with a simple thrill, or something less desirable.

(performance time ca. 9:30)