Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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.