Sunday, July 25, 2010


Most of the pieces posted here so far are ones I've described as easy, and while Scherzo #2 is a little tricky, the rhythm of Once makes it a bit of a challenge, and the Allegro requires physical strength... this one is hard. I think this little nugget of insanity is less difficult to listen to than it is to play; at least, I hope it is. The title is in part a description of the "car horn"-like sound of the chords, but mainly due to the fact that the left and right hands actually run into each other and cross over in various places.

This is one of my "mathematical" compositions, not in the sense that it uses formulas as such, but in the generation of the material. It is based on a single four-note cell, starting with C, then up a half-step, up a whole step, and up another half-step. This cell (with various permutations and subsets) is used in only three transpositions, starting on C, G, and F, presented initially as the three opening chords. If you write out these three cells, you'll see that exactly one note in the chromatic scale is omitted, and exactly one note appears twice. These two notes, D and A-flat, comprise what there is of a "counter-subject", used mainly as a sort of punctuation.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nota Brevis

This is another old piece, a short thing in the spirit of a Bach two-part invention, but more primitive -- less rigorous imitation, and modal (Aeolian) rather than strictly tonal. I'm pretty sure that the first several notes were based on either the letters in someone's name or a mathematical formula, but I don't remember which name or formula it might've been.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waltz in D Minor

While continuing to work on some more substantial pieces, I'm also going back to some of my old ones. This is one of them, a quick little waltz -- nothing fancy, just fun. For some reason, I usually yell, "¡OlĂ©!" at the end, which would make a whole lot more sense if it sounded the least bit Spanish.