An Anthology of Occasional Pieces, Pt. Seven

Simon Rackham

Various pieces for piano composed between 1988 and 2020.

‘Head’ was originally composed in 1999 for solo piano, but I added a second pianist in 2020, so is presented here in the new version for piano four hands. 'The Leap!' was originally composed in 1988 for piano and string quartet, commissioned by Bill Hopkins for a film adaption of his novel (originally published in 1957 under the title 'The Divine and the Decay'), which never got made. This is a reworking of the 1988 piano part with additional new material composed in 2020. 'Another Piano Piece' was composed for solo piano in 2003. (It was written on the 1st June and 'Are You Dreaming Now?' was written on the 3rd June, which is mildly interesting as they are almost opposite in all ways). 'Are You Dreaming Now?' was composed for solo piano (it may originally have been intended as a song, but I've lost the words) in 2003. I recently found the score and have reworked it a little bit. It seems to me to be the most 'normal' thing I can remember having written...a tune, with simple harmony. It is dedicated to (now my wife), Paola Paoletti. 'The End of The Line' was composed for piano (three hands) on 21st January 2020, ten days before the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. I believe 'Brexit' to be an absurd self harming decision and wanted to use this opportunity to publicly proclaim my profound opposition to it. One may think I should write something sad, as sadness is easily expressed musically, (and it does make me sad) but how do you musically represent being ashamed of your country's collective decision? 'Double Bind' was composed in 1997, for solo piano. Double bind is a situation where someone is giving or receiving conflicting signals or messages. 'Art Music (for The Information Tango)', was originally composed in collaboration with John Miller under the title 'Trev' in 1994. We were commissioned by the Australian actor and performance artist Trevor Stuart to provide music for an installation he was making called 'The Information Tango'. John and I worked together to produce a structural framework for the piece and then separately I wrote this music and he produced a drum track, then the two independent pieces were put together. In this extended version of the piece I've omitted the drum track and original vocal part (that recited a list of artists), and have written another piano line, making it now for piano four hands. 'Drone Music (in Memory of a Bee)' was composed in January 2020, and is dedicated to a drone bee (a male honey bee) that we looked after for a couple of weeks when my wife and I found it with a broken wing. A drone in music is usually a long sustained note or tone (for example as used by La Monte Young), so here I have used a continuously repeated low B, (as our bee couldn't fly!). 'Absolute Zero' was composed in 1991 for solo piano and two drum kits, (playing in different time signatures).

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