Piano Compositions

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About these piano compositions

1. Three Chords for Calliope  This piece is a short set of variations revolving around, as the title suggests, three chords. It is characterised by occasional wide leaps in the right hand and takes for inspiration the Greek goddess Calliope, one of the Nine Muses. VIDEO

2. Monomania (or, An Over-Caffeinated Study in Obsession)  You know that sense of impending doom which arrives after one too many coffees? Yeah, that. VIDEO

3. Elegy for a Rehearsal Room I Once Knew  The title kind of explains my thinking behind this one. Click here to watch me discuss the inspiration behind this composition.

4. Isle of the Dead  This piece is based on the mysterious painting of the same name by Arnold Böcklin. I reached out to my audience to suggest an inspiration for my next piece, and this was it. VIDEO

5. The Muted Nostalgia of a Millennial Gazing Over Suburban Rooftops, Recalling the Heartfelt Ambitions of Youth, Now Mere Memories (Unripe Fruits It Would Be Folly to Taste) Serving Only to Highlight the Multifarious Disappointments of Existence, the Daily Banalities and Nightly Malaise (But At Least Those Fruits Are Being Plucked from the Branch Less and Less Often Now, As Time Creeps Ambivalently, Glacially, Unmercifully Onwards…)…  Title says it all really. VIDEO

6. Canon No. 1, “Heat Death of the Universe”  My first attempt at a simple canon at the octave. The right hand strictly imitates the left at a distance of two beats until the final two bars where it diverts slightly. VIDEO

7. The Lassitude of Hal Incandenza  My second composition inspired by David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus, Infinite Jest. VIDEO

8. As My Beloved Writes Two Rooms Away  A short simple piece, composed as my wife was working diligently on her novel a couple of rooms away from me. VIDEO

9. Triads  Written for a beginner piano student of mine. The title is an anagram of her name.  VIDEO

10. Mercury (as seen from a Bamboo Grove)  1452 notes inspired by Bach’s Prelude in C minor. This version recorded with the Una Corda virtual piano from Native Instruments.  VIDEO

11. Conflagration in D# minor  Inspired by Turner’s painting of the 1834 blaze which destroyed the Houses of Lords and Commons  VIDEO

12. Midnight in Argentina  A mischievous short piece with a Latin American feel.   VIDEO

13. The Aleph  Inspired by the tale of the same name by Jorge Luis Borges, this piece features 622 repetitions of the note A. Plus some other notes.  VIDEO

14. The Standing Stones of Brodgar  What must it have been like to conceive of, and construct, an ancient stone circle? Specifically, the incredible Ring of Brodgar on Orkney? This composition investigates.  VIDEO

15. The curse is come upon me  Inspired by John William Waterhouse’s masterpiece, The Lady of Shalott.  VIDEO

16. Praeludium Pentagonus  For once, a piece not inspired by anything extramusical. In this composition, neither hand moves from its initial 5-finger position.  VIDEO

17. City of Regret: John Proctor’s Inevitable Demise  A piece with a title drawn by public suggestions!  VIDEO

18. In Search of Elphinstone  A short ‘character’ piece, alternating between slow, subdued sections in three time, and energetic, scalic passages in four time. A fun one to play!  VIDEO

19. The Moons of Pluto — I. Charon   The first in a set of five piano pieces written in honour of the five moons of Pluto.  VIDEO

20. The Moons of Pluto — II. Kerberos   The second in a set of five piano pieces written in honour of the five moons of Pluto.  VIDEO

21. Sub Specie Aeternitatis   Written to celebrate the birth of my son, Raphael.  VIDEO

22. The Moons of Pluto — III. Styx   The third in a set of five piano pieces written in honour of the five moons of Pluto.  VIDEO

23. The Moons of Pluto — IV. Nix   The fourth in a set of five piano pieces written in honour of the five moons of Pluto. VIDEO

24. Nocturne for Oppenheimer   A dark piece about the so-called “father of the atomic bomb”. VIDEO

25. Oxen of the Sun  A piece inspired by the same episode in Ulysses by James Joyce. VIDEO

26. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening  Inspired by Robert Frost’s poem of the same name. VIDEO

27. The Moons of Pluto — V. Hydra   The fifth and final piano piece in a set written in honour of the five moons of Pluto. VIDEO

28. Delete the Adjectives  Inspired by Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. VIDEO

29. An Aggregate of Last Moments  “Our history is an aggregate of last moments” wrote Thomas Pynchon in Gravity’s Rainbow. This piece is a musical response to that phrase. VIDEO

30. Winter Landscape  This piece is inspired by the painting of the same name by Kandinsky. VIDEO

31. Capriccio No. 1  An exuberant and buoyant piece in the key of A major. Inspired by a certain composer; can you guess who? VIDEO

32. The Library of Des Esseintes  Inspired by the dark and fascinating novel À rebours by J. K. Huysmans. VIDEO