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A Council of Apparitions

3 pieces for piano

duration ~ 14:30 minutes

The first piece in this series, “Zaloasymphnesis,” is based on 1980s Japanese animation that depicted books like Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Hector Malot’s Sans Famille. The rigid structure of the piece’s harmonic language and texture, limited to only parallel major and minor thirds, is a sharp contrast to the melodic and seemingly improvised rhythm and phrasing that characterizes the surface layer of the work. This is a variable ensemble work originally commissioned by Blueridge Chamber Music Festival in 2024, and its inclusion here ties to the overall theme of responding to works of literature through music.


In “Castle Keep,” the music is a depiction of the home of the central mole-like character in Kafka’s unfinished short story, The Burrow. Written mostly as a slow atmospheric and ambient-like work, the music is still filled with tension through chromaticism and rhythmic density. 


The last piece in this set, “Two Words,” is based on themes of duality in Hesse’s book Demian. The music is centred around the concept of the two worlds experienced by the main character, and I try to echo that idea as two seemingly independent streams of music in each of the pianist’s hands.


These three pieces pay homage to narratives that activated an innate reservoir of ideas and emotions and represent uncannily familiar, and yet, unknown worlds that I experienced through a single window of time. 

 

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