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Arts Practice

Solicitude: the composition process

Finally. Solicitude is a piece music for piano I’ve been working for ages – it seems, but I think it’s a timely release – the music sounds like Spring, and the everyone around is blooming, the weather is getting warmer, and it seems like life has a chance over death, again.

Here’s a link for wherever you listen to music to, don’t forget to click love/like, follow me there, and share with your friends:

I’ve probably overdone the music though. For future releases I will probably be doing singles with multiple versions of the same tracks because I literally can not stop myself from adding more odd moves and gestures in my music. So in the future – there will be the basic version, and the version that I like more myself. Let’s call that a compromise.

The piece itself is very plastic and physical. My lifelong infatuation with Stravinsky very plastic music has probably taken its toll and this really felt like it’s very much based on the movement of the human body. Which is why I’m working with a dancer to create a short ballet video that will go with this music. Can’t say when it will be released, but probably by the end of 2021.

The composition

The music itself is quite simple, and in line with my piano works in the last few years. This isn’t the ‘contemporary music’ I’ve been writing in my student years, but part of my desire to write more traditional music, perhaps of the neo-classical type. Doesn’t mean that I’m done with ‘contemporary music’.

But this piece in particular is a bit ‘french’ – in the sense of the love for the sounds themselves rather than any specific harmony, melody or technical stuff. Although there is a section that sounds more like a traditional development – which also sounds quite old-fashioned and would’ve been removed from a more striped-down version in future releases.

Again, the main theme isn’t really a melody, it also isn’t a harmony – it’s the arpeggiation and the suspended tones that give it its character. There are is some harmonic work which is the type of thing that I like to do – very confined and incremental, more to do with the changing colours of the same thing rather than any actual development.

That’s the main theme – the developmental section has a bit more actual harmonic work in the traditional sense, it is coincidentally also the most technically challenging part, it is also the part that I like least.

The part that I do like the most is the middle section – it’s very simple, but it has one thing that makes it stand out – a cluster, which I’m quite fond of, because it sounds so well integrated into the very commons melody/harmony. Also, because it alters the clearly major harmony into something a bit more haunting.

The reprise is mostly the same thing with a few changes – so very little exact repetition. Also, lots of use of the lower piano register.

I’ll write a bit more about the production/performance process in the coming posts.

Meanwhile, here’s the sheet music: https://www.rastoropov.co.uk/shop/sheet-music/piano-music/solicitude/

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