vi (2010)

vi (2010)

for piano and percussion (vibraphone, 2-octave crotales)

commissioner: 

Jana Mason & Richard Anderson, 21st Century Piano Commissioning Competition, Urbana, IL

premiere:

February 2010, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, IL

Juri Seo (piano), Mark Eichenberger (percussion)

recording:

May 2015, Taplin Auditorium, Princeton, NJ

Thomas Rosenkranz (piano), Mark Eichenberger (percussion)

Andres Villalta (recording engineer)

score:

Program Note:

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.