September 30th, 2019
After several years of focusing almost exclusively on my rock/folk band projects, string quartet arrangements, running live sound, and recording projects, I took a recent, quiet weekend alone at home to write a piano sonata.
I spent a full week working on ideas for the sonata, trying to find some interesting pitch combinations to take the writing out of an overly comfortable natural minor layout. After many various attempts, I finally settled on a simple major 9th to minor 7th switch between the two hands – C/D, E-flat/F, F/G, A-flat/B-flat. To transition between sections, I use some pseudo-parsimonious voice leading at transitions, bringing the A-flat/B-flat combination down a half-step to the centered key of the next section, G/A.
Though the piece uses many complicated-looking time signatures, the timing is relaxed and natural, inspired by Copland’s Piano Blues #3. This includes a middle section with the two hands playing eight notes in 5/8 against each other, fully realizing some interplay between the hands used earlier in the piece.
Check out the score. Perform it if you want. I’ll work on a recording sometime!