Seven Miniatures for Piano is a collection of seven short piano pieces all connected by the
same pitch material, that is, the pitch classes F-sharp, G-sharp, A, B, C, E-flat, and F-natural.
Though based upon this same set of pitch classes and its derivations, all seven miniatures
present vastly different sound-worlds, each having a character of its own. Think of all seven
pieces as being very different individuals which are somewhat related by the same DNA.
Each of these seven pieces may be performed independently, or as part of the entire set.
The first of the miniatures, Prelude, is a playful yet structurally-rigorous piece. Though
sounding improvisatory and whimsical, its structure is tight and strictly ordered. The
Gymnopédie draws upon the spirit of Satie’s Three Gymnopédies, but is a unique product of
a wholly different musical language. The pensive mood of this piece stands in stark contrast
to the energy of the Burlesque, which is somewhat Bartokian in character. The piece with the
most programmatic title of the set, White Echoes, Cold Shadows, draws upon certain
contemporary compositional devices, conveying the notions of timelessness and emptiness
in a surrealist vein. Piano Grunge is a concert piano piece that contains influences from
grunge rock music. Reverie takes one on a dreamy sound journey, in a lyrical songlike fashion.
The last of the set, Heptaphilia, is a tribute to the number seven, and various allusions to this
number are playfully peppered throughout the piece.
Premiered by pianist Kevin Wang on 27 March 2014 in Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman Theater, Rochester, New York, USA.
Performed by pianist Shane Thio in the inaugural concert of the SETTS Ensemble, held on 27 September 2015 in the Esplanade Recital Studio, Singapore.