Elastic Loops

Elastic Loops (2007) 8′
for solo piano
WINNER of a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award
WINNER of the Hawaii Institute of Contemporary Music Competition
commissioned by Ruby Cheng. Additional performances by Thomas Rosenkranz, Marco Marzocchi, and Sean Friar.
recorded by Sean Friar

Written as a parting gift for my undergraduate piano teacher, Elastic Loops is a fusion of our two very different styles of playing. My tendency has always been towards powerful and explosive gestures; my teacher, on the other hand, plays with a graceful fluidity and refined touch, which she valiantly tried to instill in me during our lessons. The result of this alchemy is a piece that requires both modes of playing, with the former often interrupting and sometimes derailing the latter.

The title, Elastic Loops, describes the primary way in which the piece develops: there are loops, or ostinati, that are gradually condensed, elongated, thinned out and cut short. Sometimes this happens subtly, with the result being a sense that one is listening to a repeating loop with minute variations between each repetition; at other times, the ostinati are changing in so many ways between each subsequent iteration that the music sounds as if it is continuously developing, rather than based on any sort of repeating figure.