Give Me Your Songs
for solo piano(2016)
|Commission||Commissioned by Nadia Shpachenko|
|Premiere||May 20, 2016; Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Pasadena, CA; Nadia Shpachenko, piano|
Give Me Your Songs is a piece that plays with material that feels very songful and rather simple. This song-like idea is developed and shifted in a number of different ways throughout the form; it is represented in many different lights and shapes, as if being shown through a kaleidoscope, it is the very stuff of the piece, and yet the piece itself spins forward in a form that is anything but a reflection of song-form. I was inspired to write this piece when I was in residence at Aaron Copland’s house in upstate New York in summer 2015. The place itself was tremendously inspiring because of its history and the fact that Copland lived there for so many years, and also because of the rocky ground on which it sits, and the rather unique structure of the house itself. I found something mysterious about the layout of the house; it interacts interestingly with the rocky hilltop on which it sits, so that the main living room seems almost to float in the air when you look out of the large picture window. The layout of the house is interesting and I found myself making wrong turns for the first couple of days I was there, surprised every time I ended up in the kitchen or living room, thinking I was headed toward one but in fact going toward the other. All these elements together gave me the idea for this piece, Give Me Your Songs – a piece that plays with its own structure in various angular and surprising ways, and also, as is the case in Copland’s music, reflects a song-like musical essence. Give Me Your Songs was commissioned by and is dedicated to Nadia Shpachenko.
– Hannah Lash