The principal feature of this piece is the way in which two lines of repeated chords phase in and out with one another. Interspersed with these bouncing chords are fragments of swung, improvisatory melody. The piece accelerates drastically towards the end, although it doesn’t seem to quite let you believe it wants to come to a complete stop....
Ruaidhri Mannion - Concealing Isis
I had been trying, for a very long time, to find a synthesis of
all of my favourite musics which included everything from Radiohead to
Romitelli, Aphex Twin to Alvin Lucier, Sonic Youth to Sibelius - I eventually
realised it was a pointless exercise. I wanted to write one 'guilty pleasure'
piece as a means of catharsis, which would mimic the sheer ferocity coupled
with expansive serenity I found in the Los Angeles
metal band, Isis. From Sinking from Oceanic would probably best explain
where it comes from. So there are no
Egyptian goddesses built into this piece for me... I simply wanted to sneak a metal-inspired
piece past my colleagues at the Royal College of Music by using the piano. Once it was over I felt like I could put
those old ideas to bed and get on with finding my voice. RM
Dusapin’s first etude for piano is, like much of his output, filled with a deep sense of introspection. Yet the composer’s sparse and seemingly quite radical economy with his musical material suggests the subject of the work is much more tangible, and more physical than mere introspection. This study, the first of seven could be described as a focused meditation on the sonority of the instrument itself, where the careful repetition of single pitches brings both the performer and composer to a point where they can literally study the varying intensities of the piano’s attack, and the expressivity of each note’s decay. Not so much as wallowing in a dreamy wash of sound this study is one means of scrutinising every inch of the piano’s character in preparation for Dusapin’s much larger work A Quia, his concerto for piano and orchestra.
Contrapunctus Republic - for Piano and Analogue Radio
The points in this piece where these two instruments align, or where one instrument appears to offer a musical analogue to the other’s material become a way of overcoming the distance between the world of the virtuoso pianist, and the ordinary world outside the concert hall. In one sense this piece is a bit like an inverted radio play, where the dialogue and soundtrack have swapped places. But, in the end it is about people and it is about counterpoint, and this is why it is called Contrapunctus Republic.