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Naïve Pieces

by Anthony Ritchie, for piano, Opus 210

Three pieces exploring the themes of childhood and simplicity.

I - Disconbobulation
II - Toy
III - The Birds Laugh at my Melancholy

Programme Note

In recent years the composer has explored themes of childhood and simplicity, in works such as his piano trio Childhood, Spirals for 2 violins and viola, and Picture Stones for clarinet, violin and piano. Ritchie has become interested in the idea of creating a 'naïve music': music that creates the illusion of being child-like and unsophisticated on the surface but carries deeper layers of perception and meaning beneath.

The initial catalyst for this idea was the so-called Naïve artists, such as Rosseau and Pirosmani, as well as the art of traditional cultures. This has been coupled with Ritchie's own musical aesthetic which has moved away from modernist methods, towards a postmodernist approach which encompasses musical minimalism, the referencing of traditional musics and environmental sound. A third impetus for a naïve style comes from his research into the effect of music on the brain, and music's ability to reach ancient, primal parts not associated with speech.

Discombobulation describes the effect of being disorientated by something, unsettled by a persistent concern.

Toy evokes a mechanical object with a relentless ostinato pattern that underpins skittish gestures.

In The Birds Laugh at my Melancholy, bird-call is contrasted with romantic introspection

Dedicated to Sharon Joy Vogan

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