Against Time

for Solo Piano

Premiered by Cory Smythe at the Penn Sound Collective concert of graduate composers.
University of Pennsylvania. April 2018
Duration: 7’20

Program Notes

Against Time for solo piano is an intimate, and contemplative work about time suspension. Here, the passage of time is represented by the note repetition mostly throughout. The repetition of the single note symbolizes two paradoxical ideas of time: its suspension because repetition suggests stability, but also its flow, through the act of continuously pressing the key on a percussive instrument, (like the piano), to keep making sounds. Because time flows independently regardless of circumstances, this note repetition belongs to an intangible world, going against the rest of the music. This is also reflected in the score by being notated on a separate staff. Sometimes the two worlds (repeated vs. non-repeated) blend together, sometimes they are in a dialog with one another. But once in a while, sudden bell sounds emerge that awake listeners from the ethereal world to remind them that time is not timeless.

[ Score excerpt (opens in new tab)]

Piano - Cory Smythe