Piers Hellawell Writes: This work was commissioned by William Howard with funds provided by Landmark Chambers for premiere at the 2010 Spitalfields Festival. Piani, Latebre (layers, hiding-places) is a set of three diverse pieces for solo piano, preceded by an introductory flourish presenting a tiny preview of their core material. The order of the three pieces is the choice of the pianist; differences of character between them suggest alternative dramatic narratives, depending on the ordering, and it seems appropriate that the interpreter should have a hand in this shaping... The work is built upon three archetypal materials of the piano keyboard: the tremolo (rapid alternation of two notes or chords), the scalic flourish up or down the keyboard and a striding idea in melody-and-bass.
Each piece combines two of these three building materials, so that they resurface in different pieces. The music is concerned with the voicing of simultaneous layers, or piani, but also with the search for hidden expressive places - latebre - lurking in the familiar sound-world of the piano. It is dedicated to Neil and Matilda King.
Works for Piano, Prepared Piano and Toy Piano
February Pieces for Piano and Octet '61 for Jasper Johns