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Program note: Andrew Byrne's "Six dances"

  • by Andrew Byrne

Based entirely on overlays of a single motive from West African drumming music, the Six Dances make formidable rhythmic demands on the performer. Within the dense post-minimalist textures, each piece explores a particular keyboard register and has its own distinctive character.

In the first dance, a call-and-response design is used, with a lyrical solo alternating with a chorus.

In the second, an expansive and lyrical music is created by superimposing four contrasting musical themes in various configurations.

In the third, a theme gradually emerges from a repeating bass rhythmic pattern.

The fourth presents a soft and wistful melody with a jangly accompaniment, reminiscent of a saloon piano.

The fifth is a manic dance with crosscuts of many variations of the same theme.

The sixth gradually ascends to the highest register of the piano

Six Dances is dedicated to Michael Kieran Harvey.


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