Remi, for Piano

Today marks the seventh birthday of my older child, Aderemi. In the year of her birth I wrote a three-movement work for piano which takes the short form of her name as its title.

The music is diatonic, in the key of C major/A minor throughout. It has a childlike quality to it and is simply conceived, although not necessarily as children’s music. I have posted the third movement here.

“A New Day” features short, two-voice canon loops in the right hand, and includes two patterns from my string quartet Madra as well as some new ones. It was written while my left hand was in a cast due to a cycling accident. The parallel fifths in the bass were all I could manage, and they connected this movement to the opening one as well as bringing forward a chorale texture overall.

Happy birthday, dear Remi!

Composed 2007
Recorded 2013, Roland digital piano direct to file

Photo: Toronto Island, July 2008

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2014

By elmahboob

Bruce A. Russell aka Ibrahim El Mahboob (b. Kingston, ON, 1968) is a composer and self-taught pianist living and working in Toronto (Tkarón:to, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat). He studied at York University with James Tenney and Phillip Werren. He has composed music for the Madawaska String Quartet, Modern Times Stage Company, McMaster Dancers and choreographers Pam Johnson and Tracy Renee Stafford. Interest in his work increased in 2020, with performances by Arraymusic, Prism Percussion, Second Note Duo, San Juan Symphony and Idaho Falls Symphony. He was host of Radio Music Gallery, and has written for Musicworks and I Care if You Listen. His interests are in 20th and 21st century concert music especially postminimalism, and music of the African diaspora including notated and non-notated forms. He is a parent of three and is employed in the financial sector.

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