Friday, September 13, 2013


I wrote three flutudes for Mary Fukushima-Kirkendoll in 2008-9 — on tongue rams and simple beatboxing, on tongue pizzicati and keyslaps, and on harmonics. They are © by CF Peters.

This movie is a runthrough of the first flutude, Ram Tough, before a concert at the Firehouse Space in April 2012, with Mary playing. It certainly does rock. It can be played on flute or alto flute, and Mary uses alto flute so that the tongue rams part your hair rather than just sending a little breeze your way.

And here Mary is again, playing it on alto flute at the University of Oklahoma in November, 2013.

These are the first two flutudes. Recording is from the premiere.

Mary recorded Ram Tough on alto flute. Stay tuned. Then stop.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Préludes Book 4

The préludes in Book IV are all named after yoga poses. The préludes in the book copyright © by CF Peters, Edition 67829d.

Child's (#31) is named after child's pose and was written as a present to Amy Briggs in celebration of her new Schoenhut toy piano — something she will be using to work up Books VIII and IX of the 'tudes for recording. It is the one of this book that I can play. It's okay to play it on a 3-octave toy piano, harpsichord, celesta, piano, or any combination of those. Here's a SoundCloud thingie of it using a cheesefest of a celesta patch.

Extended Puppy (#32). Written for Blair McMillen to premiere at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in February 2014. The scheming for this one was by Sebastian Currier, who managed an honorarium to write it. Here's the crappisch Finale MIDI. Informal run-through in Princeton is here.

Cobra (#33) is a dialogue between two-hand tremolos and very fast lines in octaves that rise and terminate on long notes (probably signifying how you get into cobra pose or something like that).

King Pigeon (#34). To Tina Tallon. It's a piano piece I'll never be able to play named after a yoga pose I'll never be able to do. It is a true fact that pigeons love parallel fourths.

Tree (#35). What to do occurred to me while I was actually doing tree pose. It's an uneven ostinato around G with sprouts coming out of it, in a manner of speaking. I asked Amy Briggs to choose which pitch would be the tonic, and she chose G for Green. Finale sucks at doing the subtle accelerandos and rallentandos I notated, but so what?

Happy Baby (#36). For toy piano or piano or any keyboard instrument or electronic keyboard instrument or banjos or steel drum, etc. But especially for toy piano. This is really how it feels to do the pose, and what it's like listening to a happy baby play a toy piano.

Cow and Cat (#37) with lotsa upbeat grace note figures.

Scorpion (#38). The only scorpion I ever saw in person was a small black one that stayed in the same position in the Civitella Ranieri castle for a several hours before it just disappeared. Hence the unyielding ostinato. The rest is, well, the pose, and cheesy movie scorpions. Stabbing chords, etc., you know.

Corpse (#39). This is the rest pose at the end of a lot of yoga routines, on your back. Accordingly, your back has the tonic note D. And it's the only one in Book IV that I can play.

Downward Facing Dog (#40) is based on a series of downward moving lines, and "barking" chords.

Préludes Book 3

The third book of piano préludes was written between March and August, 2013. All the titles are onomatopoeia, and that was Karl Larson's idea. The book is published by C.F. Peters, Edition 68329c.

Sizzle (#21) is the counterweight to étude #90, which is named Solid Goldie, after Marilyn Nonken's first daughter. I asked Marilyn to choose a word from a list of onomatopoeia that most characterized her second daughter, Billie, and she chose sizzle. It's an antsy thing with gestures imitating things being thrown onto the grill and sizzling. Here is Marilyn's premiere of it.

Squish (#22). The title says it all. Many of the markings use the word "knead" in them. Here's the midi cheesefest.

Croak (#23), marked ranamente, uses gestures that imitate frog sounds — especially low ribbits and rubber band sounds, the ones that used to keep me awake when we lived in Spencer, Massachusetts. A little ways through, the peepers take over, and then stop. Here's the midi cheesefest.

Jangle (#24) for piano and toy piano, but the toy piano is played by the left hand.

Purr (#25) uses as its starting point arabesques that imitate a cat's meow and chords with alternating up- and down-rolling to imitate the purring sounds. In the midicheesefest below, the rolling is not done, so imagine it is.

Zap (#26) is a barn burner with fast perpetual motion eighths alternating with two-hand tremolos. Tempo marking is Approaching the Speed of light with quarter = 144-299,792,458. Here's a midi cheesefest from SoundCloud.

Cuckoo (#27) is based on the two-note cuckoo call, specifically this one. Here's the midi cheesefest.

Rip (#28) rips some of the slow music from my second piano concerto, written for Amy Briggs, and adds an eleven-bar intro to it. The rip also references the original concerto movement, written in memory of Milton Babbitt ("R.I.P. Milton Babbitt"). Dedicated to Amy Briggs.

Bump (#29) is the one from the book that I can play. It's a bunch of slow repeated note ostinati with chord bumps in them.

Rustle (#30) is another barn burner, this one strings of scale fragments alternating with a spastic repeated note gesture that imitates rustling. Here's its midi cheesefest.