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Naïve Pieces for Piano

for solo piano

Year:  2020   ·  Duration:  19m

Year:  2020
Duration:  19m

Composer:   Anthony Ritchie

Films, Audio & Samples

Anthony Ritchie: No.8 - 'Dr...

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Sample Score

Sample: first page of each piece

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In recent years the composer has explored themes of childhood and simplicity, in works such as his piano trio Childhood, Spirals for 2 violins and viola, and Picture Stones for clarinet, violin and piano. Ritchie has become interested in the idea of creating a ‘naïve music’: music that creates the illusion of being child-like and unsophisticated on the surface but carries deeper layers of perception and meaning beneath. The initial catalyst for this idea was the so-called Naïve artists, such as Rosseau and Pirosmani, as well as the art of traditional cultures. This has been coupled with Ritchie’s own musical aesthetic which has moved away from modernist methods, towards a postmodernist approach which encompasses musical minimalism, the referencing of traditional musics and environmental sound. A third impetus for a naïve style comes from his research into the effect of music on the brain, and music’s ability to reach ancient, primal parts not associated with speech.

Naïve pieces for piano are simple, Zen-like portrayals of single states of being, objects or thoughts. They are musical images that a child might appreciate or an adult. ‘Discombobulation’ describes the effect of being disorientated by something, unsettled by a persistent concern. ‘Toy’ evokes a mechanical object with a relentless ostinato pattern that underpins skittish gestures. In ‘The Birds Laugh at my Melancholy’, bird-call is contrasted with romantic introspection. These first three Naïve Pieces were premiered as a set on Wednesday March 31, by Sharon Joy Vogan in a lunchtime concert in Marama Hall, at University of Otago. ‘A Dying Fall’ is a reference to Shakespeare, and the act of grieving. ‘Berceuse’ is whimsical and based around a child-like theme; it has a contrasting middle section with a playful character. ‘Darting’ is inspired by the image of children running around and letting off steam. ‘Chorale’ is a simple dedication to the well-known conductor and composer, Tecwyn Evans, a good friend and excellent singer! ‘Dreaming’ is a wistful slow waltz in memory of my father, who would have turned 100 on September 29, 2021.

Dedication note

Dedicated to Tristan, Josie and Jackie

Contents note

I – Discombobulation
II – Toy
III – The Birds Laugh at my Melancholy
IV – A Dying Fall
V – Berceuse
VI – Darting
VII – Chorale… for Tecwyn Evans 50th birthday
VIII – Dreaming… for John Ritchie’s 100th anniversary