Piano Miniature (for solo piano) – COLIN McKELLAR

“Piano Miniature” – performed by Danaë Killian (piano)

Program Note

In collaboration with Danaë Killian (piano) and Belinda Rogers (images), “Piano Miniature” was written explicitly with the performance interpretation of Danaë Killian in mind. The piece grew following hearing the jazz Player, Henry Threadgill, in an interview where he had spoken about limiting the number of intervals being used, as a construct for accessing new ways of hearing.

I selected five intervals for the first part of this piece in 7/4, and then used the other seven intervals for the second section in 5/4. Rows were constructed beginning on the tonal centre of successive chords in a progression I had been playing with. Each row being between 20–30 notes using the intervals available from those I had selected, in any order, up and down, harmonically as well as melodically. This idea of harmony and melody combining from the same note selection is something I first came to know as the “Harmolodic Theory” of Ornette Coleman.

The rows continue until finding their way back to the note they began on. There are 12 rows for each of the two sections of the piece. After seeing the work of Belinda Rogers at her show at Montsalvat last year and then again chatting after the Composers-League Elbow-Room Concert last September, we decided it would be good to collaborate on an event, thus bringing together her images with some music.

Today’s performance is indeed a three-way collaboration with Danaë bringing her perceptive understanding into the dialogue of bringing together image and music, as well as her unique ability to interpret and bring artistic life to the realization of the music.