10 works for solo piano
Duration: Approx. 10 minutes in length
Date of composition: 2014-2020
General notes about Scattered Intervals
Scattered Intervals is a collection of piano works written over a period of about six years. Initially some of them began as works on their own, but as the weather theme continued through different works it made sense to collect them together. While some of the pieces in the collection have been sold on their own, others make their first appearance here.
As a performer, I know too well that feeling of disagreeing with a composer’s tempi, dynamics or articulations, but not being sure as to whether I can alter them (especially with work of living composers). However, in the past performers have been equally intimidated by a lack of any markings on a work. As a result, I have included those elements in most of these pieces, but performers are welcome to create their own interpretations by varying them where they feel appropriate.
Finally, Scattered Intervals is a collection that can be presented as a whole, in part, or as individual pieces. They can be played in any combination and any order.
Stoirm (the Irish for storm) begins with the rain – falling lightly at first, then gaining in intensity before a sudden burst of thunder and lightning. As the storm rumbles on, the intensity of the rains changes, the wind swirls, and the strikes continue.
Stoirm should be played with plenty of rubato and drama. It was written in mid 2020 and is approximately 4 minutes in length.
Rains is a short piano piece inspired by summer rain falls. A gentle, meditative flow of rain forms the anchor of the piece, over which a singing melody floats. The downpour becomes more powerful in the central section of the piece as its range and complexity increases, before the gentle flow of rain returns, slows and finally stops.
Rains was written in August 2014 and is approximately 3 minutes in length.
Inspired by fluffy cumulus clouds in spring skies, Nuages is a gentle, slow Satie-esque piece with a soaring melody over gentle chords.
Nuages was written in May 2020 and is just over 2 minutes in length.
Cirrus is the partner piece to Nuages, and inspired by the high, wispy clouds seen spanning the sky. The notes of the piece stretch across the piano; only twelve notes are heard thoughout the work, each a perfect fifth apart. The result is an airy, ethereal atmosphere of ice crystals stretching over the world.
Cirrus was written in late 2020 and is approximately 3 minutes in length.
Spring Sun is a short piano piece, written about those first warm rays of spring sunshine. Written at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, it was inspired by sun filled morning spring walks, escaping from the world and returning to nature.
Spring Sun was written in March 2020 and is approximately 2 minutes in length.
Crepescular rays//autumn leaves
This work was inspired by crepuscular rays – those brilliant rays of sunshine that beam down through gaps in the clouds, forming shafts of light that stretch to the ground. They were seen on a typical autumn day, which inspired the title. Crepescular rays//autumn leaves combines beams of light – chords featuring secundal harmonies – with gently falling autumnal leaves. A stretch of free tempo music near the beginning of the piece gives the performer a chance to shape the rhythm of the fall, with unusual time signatures giving an unusual, mystical feel.
Crepescular rays//autumn leaves was written in 2017 and is approximately 4 minutes in length.
Swirls of snow falling, spiralling across the garden. Sudden gusts of wind catch them off guard, causing them to twist and turn, making shapes in their flight path. The fall occasionally grows in strength, becoming more steady and linear. However, these moments in England are few and far between, and the floating, fleeting flurries soon return.
Flurries was written in mid 2016 and is approximately three minutes in length.
Notes on fingering
Serene, beautiful and striking. Frost was inspired by the beautiful carpet of ice crystals left across the landscape. Although it may be a danger, it makes the world sparkle in a magical way, leaving glinting frosty spiders webs and icy plants for us to admire.
Frost is approximately 3 minutes in length and was composed in late 2015 and early 2016.
Some days the breeze seems to get caught up in the trees, twisting this way and that and catching everything in its path. This was the inspiration behind Swirling Breeze– those little gusts of wind that seem to keep coming, twisting and turning as they go. In this piece they begin more gentle and playful, then gain momentum and power. In the central section they become more fleeting and gentle, before the wind speeds pick up again.
Swirling Breeze was written towards the end of 2020 and is 3 minutes in length.
Many of the other pieces in the Scattered Intervals collection relate to very specific weather or days. Haze, in comparison, is almost an absence of those. It was inspired by those quiet weather days in late summer, when the sun is blazing, the skies are blue, and all is peaceful. The initial triplet against quaver theme appeared on such a day, and the rest of Haze developed from there.
Haze was written in 2020 and is around 3 minutes in length.
Several of the Scattered Intervals collection can be heard online.