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The Language of the Elements

for solo piano

The Language of the Elements is a highly gestural piece depicting how the elements 'speak' to us through our everyday experience of them. Translating the core attributes of each element into musical gestures, these four movements depict a characteristic of each element. For water, as it is experienced in the first movement, "Soft Rains", the precision of the staccato with the grace of the melodic gestures emulate the raindrops dancing across the ground and flowing along the ground. The second movement, "A Cave’s Aura” emulates the earth as a constant: solid and dense. However, in a cave, the dense rock is hollow and resonant with many different surfaces which are gestured in the music with textural elements from the extended techniques. Fire is powerful, destructive, and often sporadic as it spreads. The third movement “Dancing Sparks” is sharp and sporadic as the sparks that fly from a fire. Droning notes represent the spreading of the fire as the sparks continue to fly. The final movement, “Drifting on an Autumn Breeze” contrasts the force and aggression of the previous movement. This free and floating melody waxes and wanes just as a breeze casts a leaf into the current of air. With some tension in the middle, the leaf’s journey experiences the chill of an early frost before settling in its resting place for the winter.

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