Midnight Harvest (2016)
for solo piano.
‘Midnight Harvest’ (2016) is a cross-cultural piece that draws on an atonal row that is partially made up out of the composer’s first name and surname. The row appears in its prime, retrograde, inversion, and retrograde inversion. The piece commences with atonal motifs, blocked chords, that operate with changing time signatures using the Fibonacci series of 2:3:5 such as: 2 bars of 2/4, 3 bars of 3/4, and 5 bars of 4/4. The music infused with rhythmic and melodic musical elements from traditional Macedonian folk music. Some of the melodic motifs in this piece are particularly influenced from characteristics of traditional Macedonian diaphonic singing. In the Macedonian villages men and women would attend to the fields at dawn to harvest the crops. The harvest was a very significant segment of the rural life of the Macedonian villagers. It worked with strict guidelines and was accompanied by Christian tradition and original lyrical motifs. As a ritual, the women sang ‘harvest songs’. One voice would drone, while the other provided the melody that operates with intervallic steps of 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths. One of the sections in this piece also employs jazz chords with changing time signatures especially that of 7/8. On a macro design, the original concept of the piece was to commence atonally, and then out of the cacophony of discordance, consonance is born that develops for a while and then is interrupted by discord once more.
‘Midnight Harvest’ was selected by the Melbourne Composers League (MLC) committee and performed by Australian pianist Michael Kieran Harvey at the ‘Creativity Unlimited’ Festival which was held at ‘The Playhouse’ at Western Sydney University on 1 September 2016.