piece for keyboard and another instrument (2011)


I’ve been doing a lot of travelling across the pond to Europe lately, and it’s been seven months since I was last in Palo Alto with evenings free to compose. Nonetheless, I managed to record an improvisation on my Ensoniq KS-32 synthesizer on 2/2/12 at home in Wyncote, PA and just finalized it into a piece in Palo Alto on my M-Audio Keystation 88-ES MIDI controller. The toughest decision had to do with scoring; I had debated between piano and voice, piano and string quintet and other combinations, and finally settled on keyboard with one other instrument (which could be a third hand playing a second piano, or perhaps the instrument could be voice, flute, violin, etc.).

The work is just over 30 minutes and is a bit of a throwback to some of my early postminimal works from the 80’s, in that it is heavily pattern-oriented and even has some tonal elements. Although none of this was in the plans; it just happened.

If the other instrument is wind-based, it will require some circular breathing. The audio file is actually for two pianos (the second piano has just a single line for one hand), since it sounded better than the flute samples I have, and the identical timbres reinforced some of the patterns that resulted from combining different lines.

This is a bit of a change from some of my more recent music that consists mostly, or exclusively, of single notes or chords followed by rests. This piece starts off somewhat like that, but changes to a much more animated and rhythmic series of notes that continues largely unabated for the remainder of the piece.

The score is here.

The mp3 is here.