...flow mingled down (2002)

for grand piano/mistuned upright piano, and percussion



Excerpt

Written as an homage to the Russian-Canadian composer Nikolai Korndorf, this work contains overt and subtle references to his music and character. There are sparse and complex textures, pounded repetitions, bits of quotation, odd syncopations, strong contrasts, and many vocalisms, combining to create a snapshot of some of my impressions of Nikolai. It was premiered by Beverley Johnston and Barbara Pritchard at Toronto's Music Gallery in Oct. of 2002, ad was made possible through a commission from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The title comes from Isaac Watts' hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, and segments of the hymn tune Rockingham are presented in distorted fashion on the mistuned upright piano. In the final section of the work the distorted hymn tune segues into a motif from Korndorf's Yarillo, (a piano piece depicting a Slavic sun god) while the performers gently repeat "Welcome". This repetition is the title of one of Nikolai's last pieces, arising from a question he posed to guests during a dinner party at my house. Unknown to us, the answer we arrived at would provide the title for his piece for women's chorus. The question was "What will the angels say when they greet you in Heaven?"

I hope Nikolai has found his answer.



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