“Fourths + Fifths” is the first of three movements from Kenza (2012), and the fourth movement in the cycle of nine in Children’s Suite (2007-2014). It was composed the year my second child Kenza was born. Like all the other movements in the suite, it’s written entirely on the white keys of the piano, in pandiatonic C major. My intention was to create music that was both childlike and abstract.
The movement is structured around a sequence of six diatonic modes, each associated with a melodic pattern. Each pattern is built up from a single, seven-note arpeggio into a homophonic canon by layering the pattern against copies of itself with different starting points. The intervals of the fourth and fifth predominate throughout.
Performed by Stephen Clarke, piano, as part of a composer portrait concert by Arraymusic, November 2020
Audio and image from video by Daniel Tapper
Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2022