a stronger gravity
Dedicated to Jonathan Powell
There is no programmatic intention in what unfolds as sound in this piece: any or no relationship to the title and the sounding music is forged at the discretion of the composer and listener. Despite this statement, there is an unfolding of material that manifests through contrasting sections of music to hopefully provide the listener with a compelling experience even without programmatic intent. The narrative content of the piece lies in the interplay between and within these sections.
Jonathan Powell, to whom this piece is dedicated, asked for a composition that was comprised of predominantly slower music. This idea attracted me as to date, I have written a great deal of piano music which concentrates on dense, frenetic activity.
As the sketch process developed, it became clear the musical materials, all self-borrowed and transformed from the guitar piece out of the dead land (2014), needed to expand across a considerable timescale. Jonathan suggested, from a purely practical performance perspective, that any very long pieces were more difficult to place in programmes. To mitigate against these difficulties, I decided to divide what is a continuous work broken only by short measured silences into three sections each of which could be combined with the other, performed as a free-standing piece or all three played together as intended in a single phase of performance.
The piece is apportioned thus:
Part 1: c. 14’30”
Part 2: c. 10’00”
Part 3: c. 13’00”
All parts together: c. 37’00”
Although predominantly slow in tempo, the music does venture down more active, even chaotic rabbit holes from time to time, bringing textural and temporal differentiation to the piece.
June 4th. 2022