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Elegy for the Planet Tyrr (2013-14), for Piano

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Published on May 16, 2015

Jéssica Pacheco, piano

Score available on Patreon: https://bit.ly/2FBRiml


Program Notes:

In the summer of 2013, I began working on a new piano composition as an entry for the Barto Prize competition. Because this competition focused on literary works for inspiration, I wanted to choose a particular book that had not been musically overdone. As an avid reader of Science-Fiction, I decided to create a piece inspired by The Martian Chronicles (1948-1958, 1999) by American author Ray Bradbury (1920-2012). After reading through the original version of the book, I had initially intended to set “August 2026: ‘There will come soft rains” (the penultimate section of the book) to music. However, after considering how the inhabitants of Mars (which they referred to as Tyrr) had been exterminated by the human settlers due to greed and fear, I decided to write a piano piece from the perspective of the aliens.
Elegy for the Planet Tyrr (2013-14) is an atonal and experimental composition in one movement. The piece frequently features wide intervals (sevenths) to create a sense of tension in the work. It also incorporates the use of tone clusters (which the pianist performs with the fists) and playing the inside of the piano by gently scraping the strings back and forth with the fingernails.

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