Seascape 1

I've been working on this piano piece again, which I composed several years ago during recovery after treatment of a cancer that disabled my right arm and hand (in remission so far). I could barely play the upper chords at that time, but I'm a little better now, though my right arm remains partially paralyzed (the weird cancer decided to form a tumor around my spinal cord, then colonized, of all things, the nerve sheaths radiating from the spinal cord to my right shoulder and down my arm). Anyway, another attempt.

Seascape 1

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  • Hi Stephen,

    As are all your pieces I have heard, this one has a lovely and quite lush sound, and is a joy to listen to from start to finish. You have a style of composing which is largely rhythm based in nature, this is something that comes naturally to pianist-composers because the piano is such a physical and fun instrument to play. But it can also lead one to a ceiling of achievement, that is, a certain height of composing which you can rise to but not go above, without introducing new elements. For example, I could see contrasting the melody here with a single line melody instead of using the top notes of right hand chords as melody. Probably not something such a short piece needs, but if you do delve into longer works, I would suggest you look for ways to contrast your basic style so that it doesn't start to seem unfresh. That said, the work is quite well done and I like it very much. Thanks for sharing!


  • Thank you very much, Gav. The "ceiling" you mention is one I have become aware of, and realize that while my compositional strengths are rhythm and to some extent harmony, melody is a deficiency, although I had not realized that these characteristics were perhaps influenced by my particular instrument (piano). If I had instead learned a monophonic or mostly monophonic instrument, my sense of melody might be much more developed. I do find my attention, when I am not at the piano and just dealing with music inside my mind, wandering more and more toward at least the realm of melodic ideas, which need a lot more development, as other aspects of my life and experience allow. :)

    Thank you for your pertinent, insightful and helpful comments.

  • Interesting comments, Michael. Thank you.

    I have a great admiration for Debussy, and also for Ravel.

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