Queen Peace

Today is Philip Glass’ birthday, my birthday and also the birthday of my first child, Aderemi. In honour of the last celebrant, I’m posting a piece from a suite I wrote for her in the year of her birth. Aderemi is a Yoruba name and translates “the crown brings peace.”

This is a very simple, diatonic waltz based on four five-note chords in A minor, with the bassline D, G, A, C.  The main melody is somewhat uncharacteristic for me, though it seemed to flow logically from the chords. The middle section echoes some of the kalimba music I have written; I’ve ignored my own pedalling markings here for a drier sound.

I will post the entire suite at a later date.

Happy birthday, Queen Peace!

Composed September 2007
Recorded January 2013

Photo by Nehal El-Hadi

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce Russell 2013

Kenza’s 40 Days

Our daughter has been with us 40 days, which is a significant milestone in Islam. The number 40 appears a great deal in the literature of all the Abrahamic religions.

“Fourths + Fifths” is the first movement of the three-movement work Kenza (2012). It is structured around a sequence of six diatonic modes, each associated with a melodic pattern. Each pattern builds from a single arpeggio to block chords by layering in canon (superimposing several phased copies of the pattern, i.e. the same pattern with different starting points and/or octaves), although this process is only made clear with the first pattern. The intervals of the fourth and fifth predominate both melodically and harmonically throughout.

This recording was made on the date of the post. I will post the entire suite at a later date.

Composed December 2012
Recorded January 2013

Photo by Nehal El-Hadi

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce Russell 2013