Klee Connections for Piano



Klee Connections for Piano
was composed in February 2013. It works by connections being formed between superimposed variants of very simple rhythmic and harmonic series. Some of these connections are made by the composer – using them as a means of developing basic material – and by the listener who may well perceive patterns that weren’t deliberately put there, but which arise out of the interactions of these elements. For example, the sequences, inversions and cadence-like configurations that are often suggested are, to a greater or lesser extent, coincidental or even ‘accidental’.

This is something that the painter Paul Klee made use of in his work: interactions between lines or shapes often give rise to configurations that are not independently drawn and/or which have an aspect of familiarity.

Although this work is written in a post-tonal idiom the word series is used here not in the sense of ‘twelve-tone’ or serial music. An alternative might have been sequence, but of course, that too has a musical definition that would, in this context, be even more misleading.

Click below to listen while following the score on YouTube.

Pythagoras and the Music of the Future Part II

It’s Harmonic Wave 2a relief finally to be able to post the next article in my series about the relationship between musical structures and the harmonic series. It’s a relief because my crowded schedule, which included writing a new (now finished) piece for solo piano, meant that I could only work on it sporadically. However, it’s done now!

Whereas the first article dealt with timbre, this one focuses on melody on harmony (well, mostly harmony actually) and, after tracing the development of harmony in relation to the proportions inherent in the harmonic series, illustrates the premise that music based on functional harmony (tonal music) and atonal music are very similar in at least one very important regard.

The two are often thought of as very different and even in opposition to one another, but in fact one grew out of the other and both are founded on proportions to be found at points – distant points perhaps – but nonetheless, points on the continuum which is the harmonic series.

It’s all becoming reminiscent of Heraclitus and the ‘unity of opposites’ once more I think! Read more here.