4/4 for electronic organ (2010)


I was essentially out of ideas ever since composing a violin piece for Todd Reynolds a few months ago. I go through these phases where I write a work and am suddenly bereft of ideas; this has been plaguing me probably since the 70’s or so. But eventually I get my bearings, find my muse, etc. and the next piece ushers forth. My dry period wasn’t that long, actually, but it sure felt that way. I started playing around with some ideas on 6/13 on my keyboard back in Wyncote, and at first I wasn’t that taken with the improvisation that I dumped into Reason 4.0.1, but most of it grew on me and I went ahead in Palo Alto with developing it into a piece. It ended up a bit shorter than I initially thought it would be-only 23 minutes or so-but since the work is nothing more than a continuous stream of 16th notes, it’s probably best that this didn’t drag on too much longer. 

There’s nothing complex about this piece whatsoever-the score has one dynamic level (mp), one tempo marking (quarter = 78) and that’s it for the entire work. Just a bunch of 16th notes; not even a tuplet. In that way, it builds on some of the previous works I’ve done for electronic organ as well as works like this piece intentionally left blank in which the rhythms are pretty much static. Parts of 4/4 might make someone think of Terry Riley, but any resemblance to any composer, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 
I was really finding it difficult to come up with a title, and went for the sole meter indication of 4/4, even though much of the piece doesn’t really conform to common time. Anyway, the score is here, and the audio file is here