Dark Whims

for solo piano

The revised version was premiered by Ania Vu at the Composers' Forum at the Eastman School of Music. November 2016
Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music.
Duration: 3'

A part of this piece has also been arranged for a Wind Ensemble. The arrangement was read by the Eastman Wind Ensemble in April 2015.

Program Notes

Dark Whims is structured based on the contrast between the harsh vertical dyads of minor seconds and the thin and mischievous horizontal lines. The two fight against each other and develop in unexpected ways. The dyads gradually soften in character and morph into a lyrical line... However, nothing ever becomes truly settled, and the brief pause of contemplation quickly becomes interrupted by short, mysterious figures. The piece goes back and forth between the two characters, but also sometimes has them on top of each other: by the end, the horizontal line becomes a relentless, growing ostinato and eventually becomes its opposite force. Because the piano is a percussive instrument, I explored the extent of control the pianist has over connecting notes through resonance to form phrases. More importantly,“Dark Whims” is a study of how different resonances (related to the attack, sustainment in length and dynamics) can create different character.

[ Score excerpt (opens in new tab)]

Piano - Ania Vu