These five compositions were created to explore the unique harmonic essence of this most magnificent of instruments. The compositions were designed specifically for Timothy Hurd QSM, the carillon master of the Wellington War Memorial instrument in New Zealand, and for Gordon Slater, the Dominion Carilloneur for the Peace Tower situated in front of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Canada.
Counting through the tones of ‘In a Landscape’ by John Cage, in the manner of counting a rosary. The title means an offering to Buddha; this is not so much a material offering but more that of a good heart.
Composed in Toronto in June, 2001 and first performed by the Natsuki Emura Piano Duo in a concert of New Zealand piano music at MusiCasa, Tokyo in October 2001.
This work was originally composed as a piano duet to commemorate the occasion of the retirement of the composer’s first piano teacher, and appropriately is one of the few Psathas’ works suitable for performances by young players. It is a simple and tranquil meditation in which gently pulsing chords provide hushed support to a delicate melody. At the time of its composition, Psathas was engaged in writing his double concerto for percussion, piano and orchestra, View from Olympus, and in mood and musical material, Fragment is related to the second movement of that work. It was first performed by Anne Jago and Dermot Horne in March 2001.
These six pieces for piano should be performed in fairly low light with a slide projector displaying some of the most famous and revealing of Hubble’s photographs. The various movements interpret these images emotionally and symbolically. The music honours both Bach and Chopin – composers whose music, respectively, is considered the most technically proficient and the most poetic, thus recognizing the incredible technical accomplishment of the Hubble space telescope together with its revealing the poetic majesty of our awesome universe.
These four descriptive pieces are listed in Grade 8 of the St Cecilia Examination syllabus.
1. Gnats – a ticklish number causing an irritating itch! 2. Fireflies – flitting here and there. A precise but delicate touch is called for. 3. Spiders – the spider seeks a good spot to spin his web, born on the breeze as he works. 4. Bugs – scuttle with purpose about their business.