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

Author: elmahboob

Bruce A. Russell, aka Ibrahim El Mahboob, is a composer and self-taught pianist. He studied composition with James Tenney and Phillip Werren at York University, as well as ethnomusicology. He has composed music for the Madawaska String Quartet, McMaster Dancers and Modern Times Stage Company. He was host of Radio Music Gallery, and has written for Musicworks. His interests are in contemporary concert music, especially postminimalism; music of the African diaspora; and the intersections of technology, media, popular culture and critical race theory. Bruce lives in Toronto with his spouse and three children.

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