Click the links below to hear each movement.
GOOD TIMES Ideas for compositions often came to me at inconvenient times and places, while I was driving a car on a mountain road, or riding my bicycle home from a lake. Others work more like automatic writing, when I let my fingers play on the piano keyboard and see what should come next. I compare it to having a very faint copy of something that was already written and I only have to puzzle out what is already there. That is the origin of “Good Times.”
APOLOGY Every time I have a romantic attraction, it ends at some point with a song of regret or accusation. My original title was “What Did You Expect?”. This is an apology for raising expectations I could not meet because of my religious belief and family obligations. More details would offend British “reserve” and good taste.
WHISTLING BY A STONE WALL This started with a clear visual image of a stone wall in New England with a boy like Huckleberry Finn dressed in 19th century clothes whistling with simple childish exuberance on a sunny day. I invited students from the local music school to my office at the forestry college in Sopron Hungary and we stood around a table with a tape recorder on it and recorded it six times. The last one still was imperfect as the tuba player broke the last note but I left it as a comic effect. I still hope that a future children’s radio or television programme will use this as an opening theme.
I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD FEEL THIS WAY I heard this in my head as I was waking up. In contrast to some gloomy news about my health, I felt a new deep sense of love which I did not think was possible any more. I never thought I could feel that way again, but I do.
HOPE I ran a music store in Courtenay, British Columbia for 2 years, losing money every day. I brought one of the old upright pianos that I had bought from a retiring dealer to my living room and very slowly wrote this piece. It is the most daring and dissonant piece I have every composed but it expresses my unhappiness but enduring hope. A professional pianist recorded some of my music and confided that he thought most of it was rubbish, except this one. Whilst in the first four pieces in this book the dnamics are left to the discretion of the performers, in this piece the dynamics are as important as the notes. Do not ignore them! I hope to write another version for full orchestra.