Music for Piano iii Music of Paradise Composer's Notes This CD is dedicated to the memory of Heather Noonan. The subtitle of this album is not my fault. It refers to the two Aubade and four White Birds tracs. I was looking for a recording I had made years ago of another work and came across these multi-trac improvisations. As I listened the words music of paradise popped into my head. This is the inevitable process with me in titled works. The title always comes later. Except, of course, for Lords of Chance, a recent composition. This work was built on the chance distribution of a set of playing cards. I have done this often with students in teaching, or attempting to teach, improvisation. I've always been amazed at how little chance there is in what comes out of these séances. Evocation is my little joke. Obviously, it is for sitar not piano. The implication is that the subtlety of nuance available on the sitar is the goal in the composition of these works for piano. As the evolution of musical devices has played itself out, as we have exploited most of the terrain available both tonally and atonally, only the inner world of expression remains inexhaustible. The infinite variation of touch and color of light can never be depleted. Lalit, loosely based on the Indian Raga of the same name, [Well, really it's not based on it at all s far as I know
. I just liked the name and the associations it conjured up.] was originally written for flute and piano. But as so often happens with these things, the flute player didn't want to (or couldn't) play it. Working with musicians is like working with rabid dogs... only less consistent. The two October 31st works were written in the very bowels of the night on Halloween, though I had no intention of making them in the spirit of that holiday, I think there is a certain taint lent by the ambiance of all that that night entails. Evening, once again for sitar, was included for balance. And because it is the other sitar improvisation I have recorded. The sitar is an instrument of magic. I took to it as a fish does to water. There is a scene in Bunuel and Dali's Une Chien Andalou where the attempted seduction of a young woman is interrupted by the seducer's distraction by a piece of rope on the floor. As the girl hovers in the corner, he picks it up and begins tugging mightily at some burden out of range of the camera. This burden turns out to be two grand pianos stuffed with donkey carcasses. I found this scene to make perfect sense. The ghost trac is a fragmented realization of a piece for solo cello (another reason why I despise musicians). This was originally written for a tuba composition contest (Oh the depths composers will stoop to) and needless to say it has been played by exactly as many tubists as cellists. The title Beata Beatrix is shared with an unpublished novel. Sample chapters available on request.