Program Notes

1. Left-Handed Etude           3:17

The music of Left-Handed Etude combines the diatonic scale, chromatic scale, and pentatonic scale, plus a 7-tone diatonic series and its retrograde. The different scale patterns are played simultaneously.

The left-hand gets the major workout, thus the title.

2. Quantum Variations           8:47

In Quantum Variations, there are 8 numbered sections each containing from 1 to 8 musical episodes. The same material is used as in its ‘sister piece’ Quanta for Piano Solo, but the episodes are arranged in a different order. In addition, there are fast-moving interludes of regular rhythm that separate the musical episodes.

The music is played continuously throughout with no obvious break between         sections.

3. Right-Handed Etude          3:09

The score of Right-Handed Etude combines the diatonic scale (R. H.) with the chromatic scale (L. H.), both unfolding simultaneously. The rhythm is a perpetuating ‘incrementa’.

The right hand gets the workout, employing all five finger groups.

4. Motions of the Landscape           6:14

The score of Motions of the Landscape contains a series of musical episodes, separated by repetitive patterns. The musical episodes feature irregular rhythms, while repetitive patterns form regular rhythms. The combined rhythms reflect the persistent motions of our environment.

Imagine sitting at a café across from a park, observing the irregular motions of the wind, the unpredictable bobbing of tree limbs, the blowing of leaves on the ground, irregular changes of sound, light, etc. while being interrupted by the regular motions of pedestrian patterns, runners, traffic, and the like.

Unlike our neurological 3-D, surround sound environment, composed music is a time-based medium, here one moment, gone the next. Therefore a certain amount of time will occur before both rhythmic elements (regular and irregular) begin to coalesce over the course of the piece.

5. The Unfolding           3:41

The whole of the music – structure and content – is built on ascending and descending patterns of incremental intervals of an octave followed by a fifth, a fourth, a major third, a minor third, a major second and a minor second.* Even in the slower chorale-like section, the simple interval progression is preserved. In addition there are a few scale patterns for variety.

* (natural harmonic series)

6. Quanta           6:52

Quanta is composed of 8 numbered sections, each of which contains the number of musical episodes corresponding to that particular section. Section 1 contains one episode, section 2 contains two episodes, section 3, three episodes, and so on.

The music is played continuously throughout with no obvious break between sections.

7. Who Wants to Dot the ‘I’ in Script Ohio           6:19

The music opens with a piano transcription of the iconic chimes and Alma Mater hymn that can be heard by the Ohio State University Marching Band on any given football Saturday. The music is followed by a series of piano episodes containing occasional fragments from one of the Ohio State fight songs. The episodic music reflects our often subconscious, powerful, conflicting, and complex feelings that occur against a backdrop of rousing school spirit.

8. Stalking the Unknown, Chasing the Sublime           9:14

The score is divided into two parts. The first part consists of ten movements. Part 2 is a study on the sublime.

The ten movements were interpreted from an integer score containing a series of integers, a book title, and related subject. The books and subjects are concerned with phenomena that we (humans) are struggling to understand, or about which we still have more questions than answers.

The music is played continuously without a break between movements.

The subjects of the ten movements are as follows:

  1. self-consciousness The Amazing Brain
  2. spacetime, energy/matter The Fabric of the Cosmos
  3. epigenesis The Selfish Gene
  4. immortality Ending Aging
  5. aging The Language Instinct
  6. the origin and grammar of language What is Life?
  7. attraction, romance, attachment Why We Love
  8. perception and memory This is Your Brain on Music
  9. a search for purpose On Human Nature
  10. natural selection On the origin of Species

9. Encore          5:28