BALLADES

London, 2017

Ballades is a 2017 project consisting of four pieces for piano. Partly written in 2015 and completed in 2017, it has been inspired by the Parisian scenery and atmosphere, and is my attempt at writing music that reflects the feeling of city wanders. It is probably my most French project and draws inspiration from the French composers, from Satie to Tiersen.

 

Like most of my previous projects, Ballades has been structured with lots of care and attention.

Ballade 1 and Ballade 2 have been written as pieces that complement one another. Constructed almost in the same manner, they are based on variations of musical material over a constant accompaniment, similarly to the way a landscape would pass before the eyes.

Inside those two pieces is 4x3, a piece based on the contrast between numbers - between evenness and oddness - from the use of quartal harmony to the ternary structure, time signature and use of rhythms.

Finally, Matryoshka-toska, which I consider as the icing on the cake of this project, is a very simple but lyrical, personal piece. Almost written like a stream of consciousness and interior monologue, it is a piece that I wish lasted longer, and at the same time which takes all its beauty from its shortness.

 

Ballades has taken shape thanks to Piano & Coffee Co., and is the first release where I am truly a composer and nothing else, thanks to the wonderful performances by Marta Cascales Alimbau, Manos Milonakis, Marek Votruba and Muriël Bostdorp.

Whilst most of my past projets had been focusing on nocturnal music, Ballades is a project that brings light and motion and could similarly be characterised as diurnal music.

 

The wonderful artwork is based on a collage by the artist Jolien van der Beek. Follow the link to learn more about her and her works www.joliens.tumblr.com

 

                   Listen to the album.                                                        

                   Buy the album.                                                        

                   Buy the sheet music.

© 2020 Doug Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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