for Solo Piano
Played by Henry Chaisson in November, 2015.
Conceived as a fragmentary exposition, this prelude for piano touches on many musical styles that interest me: Impressionism, Classical Indian music, and perhaps most obviously, Baroque. The piece grew from specific movements I improvised through dance: turns/pirouettes, running forward, running back, bending and walking forward again. The broad shapes that absorb initially small phrases are a product of small gestures, turns, steps, etc., that finally build into a full progression of movement defined by the whole, rather than the individual parts. Ultimately this shape dies away, to initiate the entire process once again. The phrase diminution concept comes from a typical trope in Classical Indian music, whereby a repeated phrase will shorten by one note with each repetition, ending satisfyingly on the "sum," i.e., beat one of the cyclical tala pattern. The piece is inspired by the cold autumn in the forest of Western Massachusetts. At times lonely and remote, the woods' natural beauty is nevertheless exquisite.