Piano Sonata #6 '17 Graeme Lee Prints' : with aphorisms by Arjun von Caemmerer
by Michael Kieran Harvey (2020)
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Piano Sonata #6 '17 Graeme Lee Prints' was written during the 2020 pandemic. It was commissioned by Graeme Lee, and is a response to the series of prints he produced during July 2020. A further interpretational layer is added with the aphorisms of Dr Arjun von Caemmerer, who wrote the accompanying text "Leeward Epigraemes" as a response to both the images and nascent musical sketches. I owe a great debt to my father in law, Tom Teniswood and his wife Jane, who allowed me to stay with them on their property "Windsong" and compose this work during 2020 as a respite from the urban environment. I am also grateful for the dialogue and friendship of Ansel Luk during this time, to whom the last movement is dedicated.
The main binding element in the 17 sonata movements is the intuitive hermeneutic response to each Lee print. Originally conceived as a collection of pieces, the work coalesced as a sonata due to the mereology of its constituent elements.: 17 is the only prime number to be made up of four consecutive primes (2,3,5,7), and these figure constantly throughout the sonata. In the same way, Lee's prints and von Caemmerer's aphorisms are at once highly contrasting and individual, yet bound as a series by their overarching and distinctive visual "language". To emphasise the interdependence between the visual, text and music, each movement is preceded by an aphorism and the appropriate print.
Instrumentation: Piano with 2 wood lengths (63cm and 31cm).
Duration: 40 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Highly virtuosic
Contents note: 1. Floating Item -- 2. Hot Rolls II -- 3. Pyramid -- 4. White Shapes III -- 5. Vase -- 6. Pattern -- 7. Globe -- 8. Coloured M -- 9. Stage -- 10. Gap -- 11. Oysters -- 12. Tower -- 13. Black Bowl -- 14. Item Falling -- 15. Man Running -- 16. Mound II -- 17. Fitzroy Jazz II.
Commission note: Commissioned by Graeme Lee.
2 blocks of wood (63 cm and 31 cm) are recommended to achieve the very soft and synchronised white-note clusters of movement 4, White Shapes III.
- In the form/style of: Sonatas
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