Solo Piano and Chamber Orchestra


·  Imperfect Vision  ·


Without at least two there is no choice but one.

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This music was released on the second of February two thousand and twenty. When written in numbers this makes the palindrome 02022020. I shortened the title to a more easily digestible 0220.

Palindrome: a sequence that reads the same forwards or backwards. This may be a word, phrase, number, or any sequence of physical or mental elements. Humans have a predisposition to uncovering patterns and are drawn to symmetry.

Although the music flows freely rather than following a palindromic form, it has many playful allusions to the symmetry of its title in its length, duration, and pace. There are also many melodic elements that are loosely repeated or mirrored, and it is this asymmetry that I find especially engaging.

For me, 0220 (two twenty in the morning) is associated with my waking in the quiet of night. It is also a play on numbers: 2020 is known as perfect vision, so I think of 0220 is an allusion to how difficult I find seeing things, that is, understanding things at times. The number 0220 therefore becomes metaphorical. Perhaps the abstract quality of the music together with its lyrical moments reflect how at times my feelings shift from one place to another, and that I am at once a rational and emotional being.

Playful elements in this work includes the use of the note 'A' which the oboe sounds close to the start of the piece. A is a sound at 220 hertz, and A is the note the orchestra tunes to. In other words, something that can be thought of as aligning or orienting. The oboe along with the trumpet plays arcs starting with 'A'. The music has an initial time signature of 2/2, and its tempo begins as 220 beats per minute. The piece lasts 0220, that is, exactly two minutes and twenty seconds.

When I see 0220 I am reminded of the binary equivelent form 0110. Although my digital exchanges are shared in binary, the world I experience is immensely richer.

The number zero has long been a fascination to me. In the world I cannot directly experience 'nothing', and yet I think of the absence of something so very often. I enjoy the number two for countless reasons - sharing may only occur with two or more, and without at least two there is no choice but one.

The colours of the accompanying artwork remind me of the sand and sea, and a beach ball at its centre symbolizes playfulness. Although symmetry is an important feature of its form, the style of the image is loose and organic, in contrast to the clarity numbers offer: zero is only ever zero, and two, only ever two. Numbers are the start of something more...

An extract from the full size artwork follows.