Home Suite (2011) 20'

For piano trio. Movements may be performed together or individually (27 Morningside - 8', Compo Moonrise - 8', Sasco Creek - 4').  Self-published (Morningside Press, ASCAP).

Premiered in its entirety by the Fountain Ensemble at Princeton University, 4/28/11.

In residence at the Brevard Music Center, in the solitude of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I started writing 27 Morningside with purely musical ideas in mind: the gradual evolution of a rhythm of African derivation; the sustained integration of extended techniques; the development of shifting contexts around a common motivic thread. But as the narrative arc of the piece developed, I realized I’d been expressing more emotion with this music than I’d first intended.  Started in the summer of 2010, while my family was separating and the last wisps of childhood were fluttering through my fingers, 27 Morningside became for me a sort of ode to home, a testament to wonderful moments passed. To some extent, you can hear the sounds of our house in the piece: an unrelenting bustle, some unexpected interruptions, and various people knocking on the door. But 27 Morningside is only loosely programmatic; it’s meant to convey, above all else, the spirit of home and that feeling, both wistful and heartening, that comes with the remembrance of the many things home has  offered over the years. Compo Moonrise and Sasco Creek continue a meditation on these themes, each depicting a hometown setting that’s captivated me. Compo Moonrise recalls the haunted feeling of an evening on Compo Beach, with its creaking docks and the slowly changing colors of the sand under a rising moon. Sasco Creek then tries to capture the energy of a run down Sasco Creek Road, which leads ultimately towards the ocean, and to follow a train of tumultuous thoughts as they shift and change along the way. But both Compo Moonrise and Sasco Creek, like 27 Morningside before them, are only loosely programmatic. It’s my ultimate hope that their soundscapes can stir in you the same kind of inspiration these places have offered me.

 

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