INGS (2011) Op. 115

Opus number: op. 115

Title: INGS, Ten bagatelles for piano

  1. Chasing Rainbows
  2. Taking One Step Fowrd and Two Steps Back
  3. Bending Over Backwards
  4. .Leaping to Conclusions
  5. Blowing Your Own Horn
  6. Facing the Music
  7. Whistling in the Dark
  8. Twisting in the Wind
  9. Stopping to Smell the Roses
  10. Jumping for Joy

Dedicated to: Angel Ramon Rivera and the NEC Preparatory School Piano Seminars

Date written: 2011

Length: seventeen minutes

Premiere performance: January 28, 2012, NEC’s Today’s Youth Plays Today’s Music. The Intermediate and Advanced Piano Seminar Classes of A. Ramon Rivera.

Program notes: These ten bagatelles for piano, collectively titled INGS, are designed for the young intermediate pianist. Each piece is based on an idiomatic phrase such as “Chasing Rainbows” or “Blowing Your Own Horn.” Each of these phrases starts with a gerund whose first word ends with “ing,” hence the title INGS. The works were written in the summer of 2011 for Angel Ramon Rivera and the students of the piano seminars he teaches at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Many of these bagatelles were inspired by Beethoven, particularly his set of Bagatelles, Op. 126. The language here, however, is drawn from a type of modal harmony most clearly associated with popular song of the 1960s and 70s. Moreover, the ironic character of these pieces comes from the frequent use of chromatically mirrored chords that are at once organic and yet surprising. Taking into account the young pianists at New England Conservatory, special attention was paid to use keys, scales, and chord configurations that conform to smaller hands.