The Cloisters (composed April 2013) is a piano solo that primarily uses single and open fourth and fifth-spaced left and right hand melodies that form the basis of this hauntingly transparent and wistful work. A pale introduction surfaces, hinting at rhythmic pulses that quickly evolve into very bar and become the basis for the low accompaniment to support a lightweight yet heavily syncopated long linear descending melody in the right hand. Through suggestive and reflective modal shifting and diatonic panning from disparate harmonic relationships, a gentle and quiet theme restlessly begins to invoke the somber music of the old Benedictine order of stained glass cathedrals being enveloped in walls of sonorous psalms of monastic choristers chanting hymnals before dawn.
Those echoes served as the inspiration of this piece in a visit to a northern Manhattan museum called The Cloisters in the late 2000s. Taut in its austere and delicate style, and defiant in its abrupt bass punctuations, this drone-like music can be felt in its reflective, worshipful and primordial chant-like chorale.
for Piano Solo