Running at just over 4 minutes, this dramatic, challenging chamber work for solo viola and piano recounts the emotions that course through Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem, “The Raven,” with modern, neoromantic flair.
As of right now, I only have a midi demo; please take it with a grain of salt. 🙂 Soon, however, I should have at least a video of its live debut performance…
This piano miniature was composed just last year, in 2017. I originally wrote it as part of a larger set of background music for a bingo game app developer. While the rest of the album consists of electronic tunes, I just had a hankering for pulling out this little song for piano in an almost spoofed, pastiche-ed way.
I mean, just look at this opening tempo marking; it has so much attitude, full of dramatic imagery!…
By the time it was all done, it had a weird charm that I absolutely fell in love with. I just always grin when I hear it… ? Pianist extraordinaire Mike Jung has played it live, and had a super awesome compliment for it: it’s fun as hell to play! ?
Enjoy this digital representation below (hopefully I’ll get the chance to record Mike’s rendition of it someday!):
“You’re not really listening. Can you hear the angular melodic twists?”
“That’s what death sounds like, I know… It’s like a leitmotif; it keeps coming back to my mind.”
This track from Music for The Book of I was actually the first track I completed when working on this OST. So in this work for string orchestra and solo violin is where I birthed all that would comprise the themes of our main character, Teaston, and his trials.
I sought out a sense of haunting poignancy and drama in this work… angular in shape, mysterious, beautiful and grotesque, all at once… it’s truly a unique piece and one that speaks well to the main character, I think.
I cannot tell you how many violists have come up to me over the years, asking me for a feature solo for viola. Well, the wait is finally over!!
It took the contagious enthusiasm of a sweet and talented violist I’ve had the pleasure of working with many times to give me the kick-in-the-pants I needed to complete this unique challenge!
This brand new, unaccompanied solo for viola offers the daring artist a “fever pitch” of drama, melody, and virtuosity! For approximately six minutes, the violist is set free to explore a mystifying world of Dream and Thought, flitting between the sounds of Celtic melancholy, J.S. Bach, and George Gershwin with simply their imagination and instincts to guide them.
Right now on the product page, I’ve posted a little, raw recording of me playing the opening of this work, but it gets challenging after that point, and, while I can play it, it’s a little messy right now, haha! I’d rather wait until I’m (or a certain marvelous violist is) ready to properly record this for you all. 🙂
It’s a ton of fun to play in the meantime, though! Enjoy!
Hooray! I just finished writing my cadenza for Leviathan‘s 3rd movement! Funny story about that…
When I first wrote this work for my Master’s degree thesis back in 2008, I had been working so much on the first two movements that my deadline was getting down to the wire and I wasn’t sure if I’d even get to have a third movement at all. But I was determined, and in a fit of desperate inspiration I created movement three in only two weeks! I just love it! The convenient catch was, I wanted to have a cadenza in there, and that meant I could get away with not having to actually write 3 minutes of music, hee hee….! So, my poor concerto sat there for almost a decade without a cadenza…
Well, no longer! I will be releasing soon a special edition of the solo part with my suggested bowings, fingerings, and the new cadenza! Let it be known, however, that I still encourage soloists who are daring enough to tackle this work in the future to create their own cadenza! 🙂