The Call to Adventure
These experimental works for solo piano can be enjoyed individually or collectively as a condensed hero's journey: departure-initiation- return. Some of them express excitement, affirmation, and joy. But there are darker emotions as well due to the inclusion of a perilous mountain pass, an unknown threshold, demons of the underworld, and a perplexing confrontation with the abyss. Luckily, a divine gift will be on hand to help secure a triumphant journey home. The details of the adventure are up to your imagination.
These experiments in musical science fiction for electric guitar and effects feature a strong sense of passing, as if through some stargate, into an alien realm of mystery, wonder, and, sometimes, terror. I hope they prove to be reliable vehicles for your imaginative travels and allow you to, as Immanuel Kant once put it, reach into the infinite.
In Japanese lore, foxes (kitsune) are typically shape-shifting tricksters, often appearing as beautiful maidens, mothers, or old men, with the ability to generate fire or lightning from their mouths or tails. Their supernatural fires (kitsunebi) often lead people into dangerous or even fatal traps. But foxes can also be servants of Inari, the Kami of rice and worldly success, who protect humans from evil (especially from demons of the Kimon or the gate of the northeast direction). Inspired by these ideas and images, I decided to create some experimental world music for solo piano and piano with small ensembles. I wanted these compositions to be series of musical traps in which some "fire" leads the listener into mysterious musical spaces of danger, safety, or a shape-shifting mixture of both. In the ensemble pieces, these fires are usually represented by synthesized or affected sounds that suggest something supernatural entering the domain of the natural acoustic instruments. In the solo piano pieces, the fires are represented by some repetition or motif that serves as a metaphor for a strange flashing signal. In general, these works seek to combine aspects of Japanese and Western music. They were realized using a keyboard set to control various samples inside a computer. I hope they serve as useful vehicles for your own imaginary fox fire investigations.