Bear Mountain Fragments (2008)
Duration: 6 min.
Dedication: for William Bland
Commission: Commissioned by RASPTA
Publisher: Musik Fabrik
Bear Mountain Fragments (2008) for piano was commissioned by RASPTA as a test-piece for their 2008 recital competition. It is dedicated with great admiration to American composer and pianist William Bland.
Though there are numerous, actual “Bear Mountains” through the United States, the inspiration and title for this work is entirely imaginary, owing itself to bears being favorite animals of both composer and dedicatee. If the music is connected to any particular mountain range, it would be the Appalachian Mountains, specifically the top-most section (the Adirondacks) in New York State where I recall the experience of the landscape through hiking. (Though there is an actual Bear Mountain in Connecticut, I have not visited it.)
The musical material for the work is diverse. It begins with a simple “song and accompaniment” nocturne-like texture, before changing course almost immediately. Throughout the piece, there is a continuous mix of metered and unmetered music (often with the two hands changing courses separately) as the piece twists and turns through a variety of paths. The work tries to simulate a bit of the mountain hiking experience, in which there is ongoing progress with an underlying pulse; however, the attention is often grabbed by a wide variety of diverse, yet related objects.