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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Michael Vincent Waller, Seven Easy Pieces, for Solo Piano

Young composer Michael Vincent Waller has graced these pages before with his Five Easy Pieces for piano (type his name in the search box for that). He returns with another set of Seven Easy Pieces (Bandcamp). Marja Ilic does the honors as the performer and gives us a reading worthy of the music.

Like the earlier set this is music as a post-minimalist, postmodernist, rather impressionistic series of miniatures that feature irregular scalular melodics in the right hand, accompanied by simple but sometimes contrasting phrasings of accompaniment in the left that can show groupings that give the feeling of dual time signatures in a movement.

They are charming, mostly diatonic efforts (with one using a whole-tone scale) that have a kind of Asian ritual quality not so far removed from Debussy in his exotic mode, only regularized and simplified to offer a beginning pianist a feel for postmodernist irregularity in repetition.

They are not merely pedagogical in that they maintain a fascination as music per se. The seven pieces flow together well in the form of a suite.

Michael Vincent Waller is a composer of promise. I hope we can hear some more involved examples of his music in the near future. The program is short but sweet, coming in at about 15 minutes. You can access the music for a nominal sum at

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