Peter Dickson Lopez - Peter Dickson Lopez
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Publisher Desc. Lopez (1950 - ) initially conceived of "Pieces from a Distant Land" as a set of relatively easy-to-perform tonal pieces in response to a request by his mother in the early 1980s for such a collection of pieces. At first these occurred to Lopez in the manner of short single movement works from the Romantic Period, similar to Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words and Chopin's Nocturnes or Preludes. Over time the concept evolved into something more personal and extended beyond the Romantic character piece model. "Distant Land" was meant to evoke none other than the tonal landscape of his youth and early training. As the series of pieces evolved over time, the title came to reflect a more personal story to be told over three volumes, or Series, of these Pieces. The total Series (I, II, III) describe a stylistic journey from Lopez' early tonal creative work in Series I, through more advanced tonality and experimentation in Series II, to a mature avant-garde voice in Series III which integrates elements of both traditional and experimental styles and techniques. As of January, 2009 there were 15 pieces from Series I which were either complete, partially notated, or in sketches. Only a handful of Series II have been contemplated and sketched to date, and just a few sketches from Series III have been jotted down. Lopez contemplates that Series III may comprise several sub volumes, or albums, in which his "Moment Pieces for Extended Piano" (Piano with Digital Effects) may be included as one such album. The first piece in Series I is one of the earliest pieces of "Distant Land." The earliest manuscript dates from February 1988 and bears the title "Voluntary" as originally conceived. In order to keep the piece relatively simple, it was completed only through measure 31 whereupon it was customary for Lopez to repeat the piece exactly from the beginning. Reaching measure 31 the second time, Lopez would end on the major mode by simply replacing the C-naturals with C-sharps in the ascending closing arpeggio. Lopez performed this piece several times in concert in this form. During the years following, however, Lopez already had felt instinctively that the piece in this form was incomplete. By the year 2000 Lopez was beginning to think of the Distant Land as a more involved collection, and his mother was also increasingly unable to read music due to macular degeneration. The confluence of these factors resulted in freeing Lopez from the original charge to keep the collection short and simple as in a form simple enough for his mother to play. While preparing for a concert in December 2008, Lopez decided to extend the first piece properly with a varied repetition. The result is No. 1 in its current form as published herein. This is the "authorized" version of the piece. Lopez had jotted sketches of the variation from about 2006, but the piece was not put in its final form until 2008 just a few days before its first performance on that concert in December, 2008.
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