SEVEN PIECES

Composer: 

Year Authored (or revised): 

1982

Scoring: 

solo piano

Duration (min): 

20

1. Spiral #1
2. Thin Air
3. Sonatina
4. Invention
5. Merry Go Round
6. Scherzo
7. Spiral #2

Composer's note:  Seven Pieces (1982) is a collection of individual pieces written for piano between 1978-1982. Since piano is one of the instruments I play well, many of my earlier experiments were written for piano. All of these pieces fall into that category. These are not stylistic experiments, but structural ones.

At this time, I was working on a technique I call a spiral. It is more of a process than a structure. The material revolves around itself with new material replacing some of the old so that the progress is both inward and outward at the same time. As I worked the process to my satisfaction, I began to adapt it to other forms. All of the separate pieces in this set use this spiral technique except the sixth one "Scherzo". This piece uses an earlier related technique which is more of a crystalline structure, with the piece growing from a musical seed (to which it returns). Of the other six pieces, the first, last, and fifth piece are pure spiral structures. The fourth piece merges the spiral idea with that of an invention, with a return to the opening. The third piece uses two related spirals worked into a binary idea. The second piece uses the spiral idea as a middle section between two statements of a tune. I was thinking of a typical jazz form, with the spiral substituting for the improvised solos.

As I developed this idea, I began to use it in chamber and orchestra pieces as well. In fact, this idea dominated my music for a little over a decade, when I started to use improvisations as the basis for my written pieces.

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