Smoke and Mirrors (2006)
for Piano solo
Duration: 18-22 minutes
The piano is my instrument and as such I was long attracted to and repelled from writing a
solo piece for it. The temptation to write for my own fingers or to notate an improvisation
was too great and the burden of the great works that I've played since childhood was too heavy.
Yet, I wanted to write a work that I would enjoy playing and that was a respite from the loud,
extremely dissonant works I had been writing for ensembles. Smoke and Mirrors is my nocturne.
There are no melodies in Smoke and Mirrors, no progressions; only inscrutable sound that moves, expands, contracts,
lingers. The end of the piece is no different from the beginning.
Smoke and Mirrors is dedicated to pianist Barbara Lieurance.
Barbara Lieurance, piano
27 May 2006
New York, New York
Performance by Katherine Tagg, piano
Purchase Score at Black Tea Music
"...gorgeous and haunting. The harmonies and rhythms are continually surprising and engaging. And the sense
of line running from beginning to end is captivating." - John Luther Adams