The solo piano works recorded here were inspired by my love of storytelling and deep connections to the wide skies and whistling winds of my prairie home. Also explored is my love of rushing rivers and lakes in the Canadian shield, where I spent many summers camping in the wilderness. CURLICUE refers to the title track, but also reflects the twists, turns, and curls of canoe trips, water, and life as explored in these compositions.
Curlicue, a piece with dramatic shifts in register and timbre, explores two pentatonic scales and the Phrygian scale. Hiding, a playful and twisted waltz, uses non-traditional pitch material introduced in the first seven measures. I use a similar pitch technique in …our inner lives were entwined…, but the piece is also a personal exploration of the complicated and rich relationships between my aunt, my mother, and me.
Falling in the Water (for solo piano and electronics) explores the exhilarating sounds of water on a wilderness canoe trip through rushing rapids, teenage girls leaping off cliffs, sheets of water running down tent walls, and clattering thunderstorms. This piece includes an electronic track with recorded sounds and voices while the live piano enhances the soundscape with motives that mimic the sounds of water. Falling Water focuses on the water motives only and is developed into a separate piece without electronics. A Canoe on a Lake is a spirited musical picture of a canoe on water that explores the whole-tone scale within a palindrome.
Lost explores darker sounds and emotions with a focus on the minor second and major seventh, whereas Spider Solitaire takes the listener through the twists and turns of a single game of computer solitaire.
— Karen Sunabacka