Memos for Digital Piano
You can download a recording of the Memos as a Flash file by clicking here.
These "Memos for Digital Piano" reflect some of my musical interests: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (especially the rhythmic and structural precision); the contrapuntal music of Scarlatti, Bach (especially as reflected in the meticulous and introverted performances of Bach by Glen Gould); jazz (especially the corporeal ecstasy of syncopation and the sensuality of extended harmonies); music theater (the sudden turns and dramaturgy that shape its musical structures); cartoon music (the humorous, archetypal, and disjunctive programmatic qualities), the ironic spirituality in Chopin's Etudes, Impromptus, and Waltzes; Bartok's Microcosmos; and a number of other things.
They are not designed to be played by humans, though some could be, and all could be arranged to fit two hands. When I began writing these piano pieces I had been away from composing for a while due to touring, working on my house in Taos, NM, and mostly due to the long work of creating the video for our newest music theater work, Cybeline. I began the works as something like Impromptus to get my compositional "chops" back in practice. I also liked the way I could compose a group of them (usually five or six at a time,) and have them available for listening on the web almost as soon as they're finished. My wife, Abbie, suggested that they're something like E-Melodies. I liked the term, even if the works focus on more than just melody.
I can email PDF scores (in a very basic notation at this point) to those who might like to see the notes. (william [at] osborne-conant.org) I strived for spontaneity in these works; each piece takes an average of about a day and a half to compose. A few of the more complicated ones took up to three days.
The pieces also reflect some of the ideas that were going through my mind as I worked on the concept and text for our music theater work Aletheia. The majority of the music used in Aletheia is taken from these 30 Memos. The rendition of the piano music in Aletheia is also much more refined and nuanced.
The Memos for Piano are dedicated to Kurt Frederik.
The composition dates:
Numbers 1-11 (January 2007)
Numbers 12-16 (8 or 9 days in late March and early April 2007)
Numbers 17-22 (About two weeks in November 2007)
Numbers 23-27 (About two weeks in December 2007)
Numbers 28-30 (About ten days at the end of January and early February 2008)
Total length: 61 minutes.