For piano (2007) – 4 minutes
World Premiere: 26 July, 2007, Ray Lustig, piano, Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris
ETHER is based on the medieval English polyphonic Christmas carol known as the Coventry Carol, whose unusually dark text deals with the biblical legend of King Herod’s massacre of all his kingdom’s children surrounding the birth of Christ. In ETHER, the fundamental notes of the tune itself are mostly never played. Instead the piano plays notes that lie in the harmonic series of these fundamental notes, like ghostly vapors of the tune, floating high above. As the piece progresses, gradually lower harmonics of the tune’s notes are used. It touches earth only briefly—for just a few measures notes of the tune itself are heard swirling in this cloud of harmonics, before the piece ascends again to the highest notes of the piano, and dissipates as if evaporating into vast nothingness.
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