Opus 1399

Almanack (2017)

76 Pieces for Piano or Other Keyboard Instruments

  • Flight Path (for Beth Anderson)
  • Mesclun (for Philip Thomas)
  • Low Thirds (for Tim Parkinson)
  • Mystery Box (for James Weeks)
  • Portentum (for Hugh Shrapnel)
  • Ground 1 (for Jeffrey Grossman)
  • Pine (for Peter Garland)
  • Sabbathday Lake (for Lois Lowry)
  • Fourths (for Philip Corner)
  • Ostinato (for Bernadette Speach)
  • Epigram (for Jashiin)
  • Strand (for Tom Nixon)
  • Luminoso e silenzioso (for John Tilbury)
  • Decisions (for Rodney Lister)
  • Ground 2 (for Erik Simmons)
  • Turba (for Kyle Gann)
  • A Poynte (for Judith Weir)
  • Arietta (Two Rooms) (for Eric Craven)
  • Chorale (with Holes) (for Matthew Lee Knowles)
  • Festo (for David Mahler)
  • Popping Third (for Alvin Curran)
  • Snow Day (for Antoine Beuger)
  • Precipitation (for Andrew Toovey)
  • Valentine (for Burkhard and Petra Mohr)
  • In the Bush (for Edward Cowie)
  • Scena (for Nancy Granert)
  • Over (for William Howard)
  • Dark Edge (for Christopher Hobbs)
  • Quasi aurora (for David von Behren)
  • Moon Poem (for Peter Nelson-King)
  • Ground 3 (for James Woodman)
  • Canzonetta (for Peter Child)
  • Prince of Whales (for Andreja Andric)
  • Antiphon (for Thomas Sheehan)
  • Ground 4 (for Andreas Willscher)
  • Parable (for Eva-Maria Houben)
  • Bloom (for William Bland)
  • Duotone (for Jürg Frey)
  • The Beginning (for Michael Torke)
  • Enwrap (for Dante Boon)
  • Binoculars (for Dean Rosenthal)
  • Biding Time (for Tom Johnson)
  • Tulip Field (for Gordon Rumson)
  • Estampie (for Larry Bell)
  • Lightship (for Ian Pace)
  • Diminishing Returns (for Dominik Sustek)
  • Horizon Chorale (for Michael Finnissy)
  • Changes (for Christopher Fox)
  • Accompagnato (for Linda Catlin Smith)
  • Slow Scythe (for Michael Parsons)
  • Return (for Julia Scott Carey)
  • Slides (for Larry Shackley)
  • Waypoint (for Dan Williams)
  • Bass Rocks Surf (for Rishin Singh)
  • Half-Recalled (for Howard Skempton)
  • Fireworks (for Kathleen Supové)
  • Preces (for Barry Rose)
  • Quickstep (for Michael Vincent Waller)
  • Fruit of the Poisoned Tree (for John White)
  • The Past Is Over (for Huw Morgan)
  • Visible (for Simon Reynell)
  • Triadic Chorale (for Mary Jane Leach)
  • Flock (for Alan Theisen)
  • Canto elegiaco (for Jim Fox)
  • Minyan (for Lois Shapiro)
  • Hill Song (for Oliver Caplan)
  • Jhala (for Glenn Freeman)
  • Spiral Staircase (for Michael Byron)
  • Ricercata (for Carlotta Ferrari)
  • Wisp (for Stephen Hartke)
  • Tombeau (for Everette Minchew)
  • Rune (for John Weston)
  • Quasi-Tango (for Mariana Lincoln Quinn)
  • Grain (for Michael Calabris)
  • Roar (for Daniel James Wolf)
  • Close (for Laurence Crane)

Duration: 90+ min.

Publisher: Zimbel Press/Subito Music Corp.

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Almanack (2017) is a collection of varied pieces suitable for performance on keyboard instruments. For many pieces, piano is perhaps the most ideal (and the most ubiquitous.) However, many are also suitable for organ, harpsichord, clavichord, or other possibilities, even including harp or keyboard percussion. (These pieces were composed in 2017 and organized for publication into this volume during 2021.)

The inspirations and connections behind this group of keyboard pieces are diverse, ranging from the hymnody of the American Shakers to the experimental mostly European Wandelweiser collective. Other conceptual influences include the largely non-rhetorical, post-Cardew pieces of 1970s English experimental keyboard music, especially the remarkable work of Howard Skempton. Other pieces draw on elements of early keyboard music from the pre-baroque era.

Some pieces provide varied performance possibilities or are of flexible length. Some are works to played straight through, while others involve some elements of possible extension or improvisation. For public performance, it is certainly possible to make groupings/suites of pieces, though each is intended as a complete piece (no matter how brief).

In general, the scores are minimally marked, and their effective performance will depend on the performer’s taste and musicianship. For some pieces, pedal suggestions are provided for using the piano, especially for pieces that benefit from a large amount of resonance. But do not feel that those pieces are limited to the piano.

I hope these pieces will provide some interest and enjoyment, whether for public performance, teaching, or just private playing at home.

(Cover design by Len Levasseur)

The following YouTube playlist contains recordings of various selections from this collection played on various instruments by various performers: