Long Night Again, After 25 Years

As of this evening, I have a new compact disc out: Long Night, on Cold Blue, with the formidable Sarah Cahill playing all of three pianos. It’s a CD single, which means I’m really cool – only 25 minutes, and Jim Fox designed a beautiful cover that is perfect for the piece, a pastoral field at twilight with some kind of barn or house burning in the background. It even looks better in person than it does here. Sarah’s playing is beautiful, and it was recorded at Bard College’s Fisher Center, where the acoustics are like ice cream.

I’m really proud of this disc. Long Night dates from 1980 (revised in 1981), written when I was 24, and I always thought it was one of my better pieces, a template for what would come later. Back then I used to call my music a cross between Harold Budd and Morton Feldman (said that to Steve Reich once), but this piece also has some early-totalist qualities in the fact that the three pianos are at different tempos, repeating loops of different lengths against each other. (The piece was also written under the spell of Cluster and Brian Eno, back when ambient was quiet music.) Sarah overdubbed the three parts, which is a nice effect because the pianos aren’t affected by each other’s tempos, and the notes pulse in independent waves in a way that I’ve also sought in my music for Disklavier. Also I wrote some music back in the early ’80s that I still like, long before I moved to the East Coast, and no one knows it. Now they will. The piece will go up on Postclassic Radio post-haste.

Coming soon, another disc: Nude Rolling Down an Escalator, on New World, all Disklavier music.

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