FIVE SHORT PIECES
These five pieces are elaborate transcriptions of To One, five songs to poems by Christina Rees (1985), which convey the countless moods associated with a relationship. The work has since been idiomatically arranged for numerous instruments.
The first piece ( ‘Empty Night’, where the poem evokes the desolation of a separation) employs a free use of tonality, chromaticism and prominent use of the augmented fourth within a minor mode, all of which help to create a feeling of despair.
The mood lightens with the second piece (‘To Entice You’ with its erotic, seductive lyrics), and is structured within a gently sardonic waltz style.
The third piece (‘Bared to the soul’) has a wide dynamic range and uses a straightforward ternary structure, where the outer sections revert to unusually juxtaposed chords as in the first piece.
‘I Learn my Name’, the fourth piece, is more relaxed, using jazz-style chords and a variety of moods and tone colours.
The finale (‘Christening’) concludes the set in triumphant mood. Set within a firm A major tonality, it once again utilises chording remote from this key, and chord clusters, perhaps suggesting an ominous fragility beneath the superficial confidence and display.