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Three meditations for Dane Rudhyar : for piano

by Michael Hannan (1984)

Three meditations of Dane Rudhyar


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Three meditations of Dane Rudhyar : for piano / Michael Hannan.

Library shelf no. 786.2/HAN 24 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

Three Meditations for Dane Rudhyar is one of a number of compositions written as responses to the work of American composers while I was a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCLA in 1983-84.
The inspiration for the piece was not the music of Rudhyar but rather his book, The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music. One of the book's central ideas is that Western music has lost its potency through its obsession with the structural arrangement of tones and the resultant subjugation of magical sounds themselves. Rudhyar advocates a return to the primacy of sound and suggests that the sonorities available from sustained complex chords on the piano is one avenue for exploring the magic of tone. Although these ideas formed the starting point for the composition of Three Meditations they have become crucial to my work in the Resonances series for piano, begun in 1986.
In the composition of Three Meditations I have also pulled together some earlier ideas and influences. In Movement I the formality of a twelve tone chord spread over the gamut of the keyboard is counterpoised with pitch material which is entirely intuitively conceived. Movement II, by contrast, explores the harmonic possibilities of a six tone pitch set [F, G, A flat, A, B, C], and in addition features some plucked tones and their harmonics. The pandiatonic last movement represents an exploration of the technique of playing on the keys and strings simultaneously, and also contains references to Peter Sculthorpe's Koto Music pieces.

Work Details

Year: 1984

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 13 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — AMEB Grade 8 - A.Mus.A.

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