1) Lovers' Leap When I was a kid, we traveled a lot and it seemed to me that many towns had a 'lovers' leap,' a bluff at the top of some dirt lane where a couple could go to take the final plunge. Why two lovers would ever do this wasn't clear to me until I saw Zeffirelli's film, Romeo and Juliet, which gave at least one possible reason! One spring morning in 2004, I awoke with the first phrase of this melody in my head, and immediately ran to the piano to write it down. The rest of the melody came pretty quickly and, being in a minor key, seemed to have a tragic quality that called for a stormy accompaniment in the left hand. The turbulence of it all brought to my mind an image of two distraught lovers fleeing breathlessly up a hill, stopping to share a final moment of tenderness, and driving on to the edge of a cliff where, after some final hesitation, they do what breathless and distraught lovers apparently do... 2) Melody for a Lovely Lady There's a line of artistic thought that you should only put into music what can't more easily be said in words. In other words, if you can express your feelings in prose or poetry, don't bother composing music. But sometimes even music isn't enough, and the melody itself seems to call out for words! Perhaps someone will write the lyric for this longing melody, which came to me in 1996... 3) Restless Natives Two kinds of nervous energy, unrelenting... 4) Kevin's Dream When my son was younger, his grandmother took him for a session with a photographer who specializes in kids with special needs. The pictures that came back were charming. Kevin had a happy afternoon romping with a little puppy dog, being read a story on his grandma's lap, eating an ice cream cone, and finally taking a nap. Kevin can't tell us what he may have been dreaming, but I always wonder when I look at that picture, and it inspired my first piano piece-my personal favorite on this CD. 5) Take It As It Comes Sometimes, creating a melody is sort of like 'getting the ball rolling.' You start with a nice phrase, and then come up with a good response. If I say thus-and-so, how would I answer it? When things are flowing, it can be a bit like a conversation. Often, you have no idea where things will end up, but if you open up to what's inside, the results can surprise you, sort of like real life! It occurred to me later that this piece might make a good theme for a light-hearted TV show... 6) Clownin' Around Often when doing repetitive, physical work outside, I will hear themes and melodic fragments, some of which seem original and interesting enough to justify running inside to the piano and writing down. Almost every musical idea in this piece came to me in this way, and I loved the sense of freedom I had writing it. I felt I could structure it any way I wanted to, stringing together as many different musical ideas as would work together, and nobody could stop me! I sort of went crazy, like we probably all should more often!
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