Missed Connections

Program notes

Missed Connections is a set of unreasonably difficult etudes for the piano, vaguely inspired by philosophical themes. It was written for a number of different events where I was asked for a "practical" piece--which in this case turned out to mean music for a small number of players, easy to program but difficult to play.

The first, "Flutter," is inspired by the experience of hearing a newborn’s heartbeat. A fast ostinato continues throughout almost the entire movement, changing character as we go. I was thinking of the idea that having a child changes you so much that it is impossible to predict how you will feel about it, because you do not know who you will become. The music reflects this metaphorically through various unexpected transformations of its heartbeats and ostinati.

"Echolocation" tries to imagine what it would be like to be a bat. A series of repeating musical gestures, representing the "chirps," bounce of the walls of an imaginary musical cave and return in a transformed manner. The material was largely generated through an absurd musical analogue of natural selection, produced randomly by my computer, with most melodies being discarded and only the fittest surviving. There are echoes of Webern and Babbitt and canon here.

The last, "Brocade," lives in the intersection between minimalism, fugue, and jazz improvisation.

Instrumentation: Piano

Performer: George Fu