Chapter Two for Solo Piano by Charlotte Bray.
"For my friends, aka The Nuggets."
These four pieces were composed between 2013 and 2015. Mercury Ruling and Herbie’s Funfare were ﬁrst performed on 24 November 2015 at Burgh House and Hamstead Museum by Annie Yim; A Hundred Monkeys was ﬁrst performed on 28 July 2016 at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, UK, by Olivia Macrae.
Chapter Two is a collection of four pieces, written as gifts for various friends to celebrate the births of their children, the second in a series of collected piano pieces. Exploring the piano in various ways, the pieces are intended to be played by children or adults alike.
By chance, each of the four children that these pieces were written for were born in either air or ﬁre zodiac signs. I took characteristics from each sign to inspire the corresponding pieces.
Mercury Ruling was written for Sebastian Charlie Reeve, whose zodiac sign is Gemini. An ultimate calmness feeds the piece, mysterious and ﬂowing. The simple melody passes from right hand to left, over the continuous accompaniment pattern. The notes are derived from the letters in Sebastian’s name.
Herbie's Funfare is ﬁlled with energy and determination. A fearless fanfare, it also ﬁnds its qualities in Herbie's zodiac sign, Sagittarius. A live free improvisation by Herbie Hancock, opening Cantaloupe Island, also inspired the piece: the principal theme is a quote from his improvisation which drove my composition.
The witty and mischievous nature of A Hundred Monkeys is ﬁtting for Evelyn, who was already 20 months old at time of writing. Independence and intellect were characteristics taken from her zodiac sign, Aquarius, to inspire the piece.
Pudding and Pie is a playful piece, the English nursery rhyme Georgie Porgie, Pudding and Pie giving rise to its character. It also has strength and determination, characteristics stemming from George’s zodiac sign, Leo.
- Charlotte Bray
Duration: 10 minutes