Flatline (solo piano)
When your instructor tells you to write a piece for piano using every A on the keyboard and nothing else, you cry for a little while, then go for it. (And then you make your pianist cry.)
Run time: between 2′ and 3′, usually.
When your instructor tells you to write a piece for piano using every A on the keyboard and nothing else, you cry for a little while, then go for it. Flatline is a piece that I wrote, fell absolutely in love with, then had to set aside for two years while I found a pianist brave enough to attempt to play it. I describe it to friends as “absurdly hard”—not because it’s incredibly lush and full of chromaticism and all the things we typically call difficult in the piano world, but because the piece consists of intricate rhythms involving every A on the piano and no other notes. Flatline takes you on a polyrhythmic journey through a minefield of octave jumps and sixteenth notes that eventually reaches an epic showdown between the high and low registers of the keyboard.
Dear pianists: I’m so sorry.
Run time: between 2′ and 3′.
Flatline perusal (preview before you buy!)
This performance of Flatline features Sid Samberg, who’s a skilled composer and a lovely human:
- 3/3/2018: Sid Samberg, the Wild Beast, Valencia, CA
- 4/1/2017: Jeremiah Sweeney, Recital Hall, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (world premiere)