Meditations for Dennis Hartley

Simon Rackham

(To be released on 1st March 2021) ‘Meditations’ were composed for piano three hands in late January and early February 2021. I was working on a painting and suddenly thought it reminded me of something. After a while I realised it was rather similar to some work I’d recently seen by the American painter Dennis Hartley. On revisiting his website, I saw that the paintings were called ‘Meditations’, so I decided to write these pieces and dedicate them to him. His work can be seen at: Hartley’s paintings seem to have a similarity to my music as he generally employs a very limited palette, often using only three colours so all the pieces are composed for piano three hands. ‘Meditation One’ uses a constant repetition of 12, 123, 1234, etc. up to 7, which can be heard throughout the work. ‘Meditation Two’ is a slow canon, with each part following one bar behind in a higher octave. Like the other pieces ‘Meditation Three’ is diatonic but uses a slightly unusual scale of C, D, E, F, G, A flat, & B flat. In ‘Meditation Four’ the three hands are playing in different times. The top part is playing groups of three quavers, the middle in four, and the lower part is mainly in five four time.

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