Mikel Kuehn - Works

Returning the Complement (2013), for piano (Winston Choi, piano):

I. Formants: [Flash Required]

II. Bursts: [Flash Required]

III. Mosaics: [Flash Required]

Program Note

Returning the Complement (2013 for solo piano) was composed for the 70th birthday celebration of my dear friend and former teacher Robert Morris. Commissioned by Perspectives of New Music and written for pianist Winston Choi, this piece consists of three movements – I. Formants, II. Bursts, and III. Mosaics – all of which utilize compositional techniques that are addressed in Morris’ music and/or writings. The second and central movement, Bursts, is built from the 55-pitch “chain” found in his pieces Old Forest (2005, piano and orchestra) and Each Time (2006, solo piano). In Bursts, the chain is extended and layered in three-voice counterpoint mapped onto the high, middle, and low registers of the piano. The outer two movements utilize material of my own devising, though the pitch-structures stem directly from techniques developed by Morris. The titles of each movement relate to structural and/or surface aspects evident in the music. Formants consists of six small variations of similar rhythm, each featuring an acoustic resonance (formant) of a specific pitch that is activated by sympathetic vibration. Bursts also activates “silent” pitches but the surface is concerned more with choppy and small explosive gestures. Mosaics is a set of three temporally contracting variations stemming from the pitch material of the original movement, Formants. While this movement moves from the highest to lowest registers of the piano, each of its three variations contains five small sections that pertain to the title – each is a self-similar registral partitioning of all twelve pitches (mosaic).


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