Eleven One Minute Pieces
Date of Composition: 1983/1996
PROGRAM NOTES: Each of the Eleven One-Minute Pieces introduces a familiar style of new music, from expressionism to minimalism, from modernist serialism to neo-romanticism. Since each piece is a distinct miniature, a one-minute “ism”, the pianist is free to play any number of the eleven in any order. The only unifying idea of the set as a whole is that of a playful, stylistic pluralism, which is a decidedly postmodern position. (Postmodernist practitioners of the arts in the late twentieth century are not compelled to swear fealty to one style, one school, or one idiom). Perhaps this has come about because of our instant access to the arts from any era, from any place. One approach listeners may take to music controlled by the clock is to compare musical-psychological with measured time. Alas, these one-minute sound bites may very well reflect our shattered attention span, although I am presently at work on Ten Two-Minute Pieces and Nine Three-Minute Pieces. It must be remembered that Chopin, an artist certainly capably of sustained attention, left us his famous Waltz in Db Major, which has become a sixty-second show-off encore known as the Minute Waltz.
The Eleven One-Minute Pieces were begun in 1983 and revised and put in final form during July 1996. Each is dedicated to a pianist and friend. -James Sellars