Op. 14 – Book of Dances and Songs


  1. Energetic Dance
  2. Blue Ridge Song
  3. Aggressive Dance
  4. A Song for Joanne
  5. Ecstatic Dance

This set of little piano pieces was composed at a time when I was trying to divest my music of all stylistic traces of traditional new music influences. Serious music, I felt, should not differ appreciably in style from the popular music listened to by average citizens. Only through the complexity of its structure and subtlety of expression should the hand of the artist be shown. These pieces represent my pop music inclinations in their purest form.

I. Energetic Dance. A minor.
The opening measures echo a common rock cliché, but the continuation places it in a tonally ambiguous context. The music evaporates into the upper register before the home key of A minor can be firmly established.

II. Blue Ridge Song.
A major.A gentle melody written during a vacation which included a drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. One of the secondary ideas is an inverted form of a theme from A Song for Joanne, which I had already composed.

III. Aggressive Dance. B-flat minor.
This hard-driving fusion piece with virtuosic blues figures culminates with a 3-part polytonal canon.

IV. A Song for Joanne. F major.
A love ballad dedicated to my first wife, Joanne Leary. The melody finds a new harmonic context for the main theme from Energetic Dance.

V. Ecstatic Dance. B-flat major.
This piece takes a bow towards minimalism, using the element of repetition to build to a climax for the entire set. It continues to develop an idea used in A Song for Joanne and Blue Ridge Song.