The Concerto for Piano, commissioned by Pamela Mia Paul, is constructed from a single motive: set of descending dyads taken from the opening of Bruce Hornsby’s song “Every Little Kiss” from the album, “The Way It Is.” While I’d taken piano lessons for a few years as a small child, by the time I was in Junior High School, I’d lost interest in playing (well, practicing, to be honest). Hornsby’s playing on this album lured me back to the piano in order to learn and transcribe some of the songs, and thus catalyzed my fascination with composing. Looking back, I can point to that moment as a launching point for my compositional career, so it seemed appropriate to use a tiny cell from his music as the genesis of this work:
Movement I is a meditation on these intervals, gradually unfolding from the solo Piano opening into an ever-cascading fall of melodic motion, until we finally “land” in Ab major, at which point the music reverses direction, ascending to a euphoric climax. The music dissipates, evaporating upward into solo Piano, just as it began.
Movement II erupts boldly into a playful interweaving of syncopated gestures, with the Piano and ensemble often careening abruptly around sharp rhythmic and dynamic curves, as well as around each other. A groove eventually establishes itself, as the piece incessantly intensifies to a climactic conclusion.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Pamela Mia Paul for commissioning this work, and for her absolutely devoted and tireless support, extraordinary musicianship, and jovial attitude throughout the creation of this work.
Scored for orchestral winds and percussion, the instrumentation is suitable for both symphony orchestras and wind ensembles.
*Fun note: In the opening of “Every Little Kiss,” Hornsby quotes the opening of Ives’ Piano Sonata No. 2, Mvt. III “The Alcotts”, which in turn quotes Beethoven Symphony No 5. The figure I borrow from Hornsby comes immediately after the Ives quote.
Commissioned by: Pamela Mia Paul
Dedicated to: Pamela Mia Paul
Flute I – II – III
Oboe I – II
Bassoon I – II (dbl. CBsn.)
Clarinet in Bb I – II
Bb Trumpet I – II – III
Horn in F I – II – III – IV
Trombone I – II – III
Please consider bringing in Pamela Mia Paul as guest soloist. She is extraordinary to work with, really fun, and available for a very reasonable fee. Also, you get a big discount on the rental fee if you do. Contact us for more details.