for piano and percussion (vibraphone, 2-octave crotales)
Jana Mason & Richard Anderson, 21st Century Piano Commissioning Competition, Urbana, IL
February 2010, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, IL
Juri Seo (piano), Mark Eichenberger (percussion)
May 2015, Taplin Auditorium, Princeton, NJ
Thomas Rosenkranz (piano), Mark Eichenberger (percussion)
Andres Villalta (recording engineer)
Several years ago, after a long period of eschewing consonance and familiar chords for a more abstract, modernist language, I brought back harmony to try to see it in a new light. In vi, triads and seventh chords made a defiant comeback. My longing for a recognizable musical syntax led me back to tonality. As I wrote, tonal moments melted into passages of obfuscating texture only to emerge, when the texture cleared, with a sense of irony. The structure of this piece is delineated by the interaction of subtly-shifting bitonal chords, which are created with the piano’s sostenuto pedal and selective muting in the vibraphone. The climax contains a slanted quote of R. Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” the epitome of major-minor ambiguity.
vi was written in the winter of 2009-2010 for myself and then my friend (now my spouse) Mark Eichenberger for the premiere at the 21st Century Commissioning Award at the Krannert Center for the Arts.