Return to the Baxter

a silhouette of classical pianist Liam Pitcher playing his original music on a grand piano in the dark.
6 pieces・1 hour

Return to the Baxter

Piano Music
March, 2020
Liam Pitcher

Improvised Piano Music

'Return to the Baxter' by South African improvising pianist Liam Pitcher set of six fully spontaneous, improvised piano works, which were recorded at the Baxter Theater. It is a followup to Liam's EP titled 'Session at the Baxter Theater', which was recorded in November 2018.

"Love the obsessive brooding on the Dies irae - Rachmaninoff would have approved!" - Hendrik Hofmeyr

"Thank you for enjoying us with your honest and sensitive music. You have such a rare and special gift." - Herbert Gloeckner

Warm Up Improvisation in C Sharp Major

About the Piano Improvisation · Program Notes

The piece was meant as a warm up; however my brilliant videographer Andrew Macdonald needed to check the lighting, and the audio recording had started, so we captured the whole thing. It turned out to be quite special.

This is fitting given the final piece of our first Baxter recording session in 2018, which was of a similar nature.

The piece explores a hexatonic relationship between three chords, namely C Sharp, A Minor and F. The piece is built harmonically on a progression of these three sonorities, and scales which may be formed on them, making for some interesting inflections.

Improvisation in D Minor (For the Right Hand Alone)

About the Piece · Program Notes

This piece for the right hand alone is in D double harmonic minor.

The nature of the scale is eastern in sound due to its augmented second between the supertonic and mediant scale degrees.

Improvised Fantasy in F Minor

About the Piano Fantasy · Program Notes

This fantasy is varied in mood, and makes use of the full range of the piano.

Long broken chords are spread across the hands, with hands occasionally crossing over each other to expand their reach.

Additionally, the piece contains many melodies and motifs which occur in between these free flowing chordal patterns, occasionally in counterpoint.

Improvised Scherzo

About the Scherzo · Program Notes

'Improvised Scherzo' employs unpredictable phrasing, and harmonic language such as bitonality, chromaticism, quartal harmony & symmetrical scales in order to convey its playful nature.

Improvised Fantasy in A Flat Minor

About the Piece · Program Notes

A fantasy in A Flat Minor which explores long, free phrases which are often conjoined by chordal tonal and modal inflections.

The piece contrasts moods, and climaxes around its midway point in a free overlapping of arpeggiaic figures before returning to a similar timbre to its opening section.

The Great Chorale

About The Great Chorale · Program Notes

This final recording from my 'Return to the Baxter' is an improvisation drawing on aspects of the chorale, such as smooth vertical voice leading and singable lines, and combining them with more modern techniques such as clusters and pandiatonicism.

It is instrumental music of worship, and is dedicate to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus and our father in Heaven.