Dreams of a Young Piano
Scored for solo piano along with two percussionists and a nine-piece, mixed ensemble, Dreams of a Young Piano is a playful exploration of the piano’s identity. If an anthropomorphized piano had youthful ambitions, they might be to transcend its limitations and to imagine itself with the powers and properties of various other instruments. The work entertains this pipe dream, enacting a metaphorical extension of the piano in two primary ways: mechanically—shedding its confines as a percussive instrument with fixed tuning—and acoustically—acquiring a larger instrumental body that extends across the entire stage by enlisting the forces of the surrounding ensemble. The first movement introduces the fantasy instrument, while the second continues to explore its sonic possibilities. Formally, the work demonstrates “disjunct transformation,” where a linear process (e.g. the transformation of the piano into the meta-piano) is segmented and those segments, re-ordered, abbreviated, and amplified. In the first movement, disruptions to the implied linear transformation seem to themselves exercise influence over the disrupted content.