These are pure improvisations. Each one begins with no pre-thought. I originally just put my hands down and let it happen. This resulted in quite a bit of musical meandering- yet I used the meandering as a tool and etude to move through ideas with simple rules. This was quite terrifying to me, as I had been trained all my compositional life to "account" for every note, and not let things meander. The modernist "control" mindset was still in me- so the only thing I did was to keep the original idea in my mind, play around with it, develop it, and eventually return to it towards the end: working-out inner struggles with many influences. I deeply love jazz, but have never played it. This always bothered me. I had always played classical, but had not done enough modern repertory. I was frustrated with the ideas that my hands wrote the music, not I, so I created a set of mind-games and struggles of influences to get through.
You will hear moments of explorations in consonance/dissonance with the same love and fascination, and times which become a game:
landing on a dissonant sound = linger
landing in consonance = EXPLODE.
I wanted to capture these struggles, purely for selfish reasons, and development.
You'll hear abstract as well as obvious influences of Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Skriabine, Messiaen, Part, Ligeti, Bartok, Hungarian folk melodies, Kieth Jarrett, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Cecil Taylor, Conlon Noncarrow. I recorded the Emigrations years ago in room 212 at the Neighborhood Music School on a somewhat out of tune piano. At first, the "out-of-tune-ness" bothered me- but then I really got into the detail of the individual sounds. Not the best recording quality, for sure. The originals are gone, and I only have these mp.3's left of them. Someday, I will edit and write them down.