Stranded Vessels (comp. December 2011) is a two piano solo piece featuring a sea shanty 6/8 gigue in E minor that is one of my most favorite pieces I’ve ever composed to date. The Primo plays a wistful tune for the majority of the piece while the Secondo plays rocking and undulating sprays of ornamental material until the mysterious B section stops the rhythm and chordal shifts of modal centers plane downward and upward in a billowing motion until it stabilizes back to the dominant. Then the gently melody returns and plays a question and answer between this four-handed work before it dies down to soft ppp finish.
The title comes from a composer residency in which, at the time this piece was written, another artist, a poet, was working on a long book of the same name. It seemed appropriate to borrow this titles (which he taken from a line in an E. Hemingway’s book) as the mood and character of this piece was deliberately written to be a homage to the sea, a place where I’ve lived and worked aboard cruise ships playing piano in jazz bands and a place to where much inspiration is continually drawn.
for Piano solo