Chris Tilley – Pretty Piano Pieces: Distant Fragile


Anna Heller plays Distant Fragile from the piano cycle of Chris Tilley “Pretty Piano Pieces”. Chris about his compositional style: ” As a composition student, my music was firmly grounded in Western classical music, especially influenced by 20th century Russian and French composers, such as Prokofiev and Poulenc, and you can see very obvious, traditional forms in both my early and more recent work. My early work was often very dissonant, and while my more recent works may still sometimes be dissonant, it’s generally less stridently so. More recently I’ve been writing smaller scale works, exploring thinner textures and limited thematic material (in a non-minimalist style). Pretty Piano Pieces was simply an attempt to explore some “prettier” gestures and ideas in piano writing. Like much of my recent work, each movement started with one small idea: repeated arpeggio high in the right hand; alternating major and minor chords; repeated notes as an accompaniment idea (à la Chopin); a repeated idea that gets shorter when you repeat it (also, I wanted something rhythmic to contrast the other movements); and Alberti bass.

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