Improvisations Vol. II

a silhouette of classical pianist Liam Pitcher playing his original music on a grand piano in the dark.
10 pieces・66 minutes

Improvisations Vol. II

Piano Music
Liam Pitcher

Piano Music Album

This is the second album of original piano music in a series of ten albums of piano improvisations which I recorded periodically and spontaneously throughout 2019, at Cape Town Sound Studios.

All 100 pieces were released in ten volumes in October 2019.

The naming scheme of this particular album utilizes some of the most highly searched shapes on the internet.

The naming scheme has absolutely no correlation to the music, and was purely adapted for Google keyword search volume.

This choice was to satirically reflect on the naming schemes and lack of musical meaning in most modern-day compositions.

The purpose of the program notes below is not to be exhaustive, but rather to paint a general picture of the standout features of each improvisation.

Point・Improvised Piano Aphorism

About the Improvisation・Program Notes

'Point' is a brief solo piano aphorism in which I explore chromatic, quartal and quintal harmony in a combined environment of contrapuntal and homophonic figures.

The piece is mostly free in phrasing and rhythm.

Line・Improvised Piano Fughetta & Aphorism

About the Piece・Program Notes

'Line', in the key of C minor, begins with a chromatic descending contrapuntal figure which immediately develops in the manner of a fughetta without specific harmonic rules.

It then transitions into a freer and more romantic/impressionistic improvisatory section.

Arc・Improvised Piano Aphorism

About the Music・Program Notes

'Arc' is a slow and lyrical piano aphorism in the key of C minor, which remains largely diatonic in the home key. It is primarily a conduit of expression, using speech-like rhythmic patterns, and long, uneven phrases.

It is rich in expressive micro-rythmic, as well as descending sequential patterns.

Square・Improvised Piano Impromptu

About the Music・Program Notes

'Square' is a highly chromatic solo piano improvisation which uses highly dissonant harmonies, and dark somber melodies.

It is primarily centered around a mirrored scale on A flat, which inflects onto A flat harmonic and double harmonic minor.

It contains a dark and expressive climax after the half-way mark in the subdominant minor (C Sharp minor).

It returns to the home key in the final section and ends on a subtle and soft tierce in the high register.

Circle・Improvised Piano Fantasy

About the Fantasy・Program Notes

'Circle' is built on an ostinato arpeggio / scalar figure in the right hand (sometimes both hands), which freely flows between C minor and its closely related keys.

The lengthy piece seems to continue infinitely, gradually sharpening and flattening at will.

Pentagon・Improvised Piano Fantasy Scherzo

About the Fantasy Scherzo・Program Notes

'Pentagon' is a solo piano fantasy scherzo which primarily consists of the juxtaposition of very smooth arpeggio figures with more staccato 'scherzo-like' figures which are playfully dramatic in timbre.

In the D section of the piece, I utilized an over-holding extended technique, in which the pedal and left hand lift while the right hand remains depressed.

The loud bass notes in the left hand resound notes held down by the right hand.

The improvisation begins quite meek and small, but gradually grows in thickness before climaxing.

Hexagon・Improvised Piano Barcarolle

About the Barcarolle・Program Notes

'Hexagon' is a barcarolle in F Dorian which is mostly in 6/8 time.

It occasionally inflects into other keys and modes before returning to F Dorian.

It contains a particular excursion into a very rhythmically speech-like section before finding its way back to the original material and key.

Rectangle・Improvised Piano Prelude

About the Prelude・Program Notes

'Rectangle' is an improvised piano prelude which explores cross rhythms, primarily of 3 against 2, but later developing micro-rhythmic alterations and adaptions.

Triangle・Improvised Piano Prelude

About the Piano Prelude・Program Notes

'Triangle' is a dark, dissonant and chromatic piano improvisation which mirrors the hands around the axis of D natural.

The outer melodies are exact mirrors of each other, and so are the inner chordal accompaniments.

Cross・Improvised Piano Fantasy March

About the Fantasy March・Program Notes

'Cross' begins as a multicoloured fantasy and develops into a dark and driving death march.

It achieves its dark timbre by utilizing the octatonic symmetrical scale, which alternates between minor and major 2nds.