NOTES about journeys
Three Pieces for Piano (2006) was commissioned by Jana Mason and her husband, Richard Anderson, and was written for pianist Ji-eun Yun. “Fanfares” is an abstraction of the genre; characteristic celebratory flourishes and rhythmic motives are presented in a variety of atypical contexts. The listener is taken on an emotional journey touching on celebration, agitation, rage, serenity, and nostalgia. “Reflection” meditates on a recurring musical object whose color gradually changes throughout the movement. The music depicts an idea that is molded and refined through focused contemplation. “Soar” closes the work with an imaginary flight through a crisp, night sky.
The opening of Swirling Sky for solo piano (2014) recalls moments I have spent gazing at cloud formations drifting above. These slowly evolving shapes in the sky often spark my imagination, evoking images of magical characters, fantastic creatures, and primordial landscapes. As the work progresses, the music depicts losing oneself in the moment and being swept into an extraordinary journey through the clouds. Swirling Sky for solo piano is based on a previous version for piano and electronics, both of which were composed for pianist Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi.
Journey for solo piano (2015-17) is based on a single, underlying melodic and harmonic idea – centered on the musical interval of a minor third – that is heard in its most stark form in the first movement, “Soul.” This idea is the essence of the piece; it exists at all moments in the music. The idea represents an individual, who, over the course of the piece, endures an emotional and spiritual journey through life experiences that are suggested by each movement’s title. The musical variations from one movement to the next reflect how the individual is transformed by moments of loss, fear, remorse, awe, joy, and love – some profound and some fleeting. Journey was composed for pianist Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi.
This album was produced with the generous support of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Faculty Development Program.
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