As a composer, I always become emotionally involved with the music I'm writing. As frustrating as it tends to be sometimes (like a true relationship!), I have come to love it and now find it the only way to compose. Of course, one could question how much of this internal emotional journey is communicated with the listener.
However, when an external force -- life changing event or experience, for instance -- becomes the sole inspiration for a piece of music, the composition finds an even stronger communicative voice. Whether it is homage to an admired composer, or a work composed in memory of a certain occurrence or place, the composition in some way transcends the idea of “art for art's sake.” By the nature of its dedication the music finds a more personal meaning, not only for the composer but also for the listener.
As we will be joining many this week in remembrance of 9/11, this week’s Hammered! is devoted to piano music that bears a special dedication. We start off the week with David Lang’s Memory Pieces and Yiannis Konstantinidis’s Eight Greek Island Dances, as well as works by Caleb Burhans (A Moment in the Rothko Chapel), and Bohuslav Martinu (Ballade, Chopin’s Last Chords).