The Five Vignettes for two pianos were inspired by the short film “Vignettes” aired on television by the Canadian Film Board. Likening the abbreviated visual presentation to a musical expression, each vignette explores a unique musical idea within a condensed time frame. The musical inspiration, once established, is then quickly developed creating an autonomous and succinct movement. Each vignette strives for individuality and singular expression.
The harmonic material was derived from simple triadic structures which had been removed from their traditional reliance on key and mode. By progressing freely through the independent triads, new and constantly changing chromatic relationships are revealed. The construction of melody was related directly to this non-functional triadic method. No longer confined to a specific mode, melody could explore chromatic possibilities with unusual freedom while being supported by either related or possibly contradictory triadic movement.
Complementing the harmonic and melodic language was the utilization of additive and traditional rhythmic presentations. In the construction of both melody and accompaniment, rhythmic alternations of two or three beat groupings provided the motivation for musical expression. In addition, the extensive range and timbral possibilities of the piano are exploited.
Instrumentation: Two Pianos
Duration: 15 minutes