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Binary
Label: Protone Music
Released: August 6, 2019

 

Binary

solo piano


Program Note
"Binary" was commissioned by Paul Schenly for Pianofest, a summer piano festival in East Hampton where I was invited to be composer-in-residence.
In mathematics and computer science the binary numeral system uses two symbols, 0 and 1. As early as 1703, the mathematician Gottfried Leibniz believed that binary numbers represented the mystical “creatio ex nihilo” or creation out of nothing. 0 and 1 have had profound applications in our digital world and I wanted to explore how they could be applied to music.
The first movement of “Binary” is built on the interval of the second. It is expressed melodically in single lines, harmonically in thick block chords, dynamically in pounding fortes and whispered pianissimos, and kinetically in fast passages and glacially static ones. All harmonic and melodic patterns are derived from this interval.
The second movement is built on the rhythm of two beats. It is a set of variations on the Brazilian samba and restricts the theme to its rhythmic element alone, subordinating all others. Within a seemingly restrictive boundary, I discovered an astonishing amount of variety.

 

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Updated: Aug-6-2019
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