for Solo Piano
Duration ca. 3′
by Edward Caine
This piece was written during a CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) Summer School and at a point in my life where, having in some ways defeated the ogre of depression, I still had some residual resentments that caused a lot of block and pain when it came to composing. The title growing pains refers to a moment in the week when the tutor on the composer module told me to “grow up” when I asked him about making a living as a composer. Despite the cantankerous nature of the comment it was very kindly meant and has become a mantra of mine throughout the process of healing.
The piece is based on the Chinese folk tune 赶牲灵 Driving Livestock (recording below). I had toured with China in University of York Choir The 24. During a very memorable night out a friend of our guide had sung the tune to me (usually sung as a lullaby). It sounded almost nothing like we were singing it and the experience was transformative. Using a slightly odd approach to melody on the piano I aimed to capture that performance as it had been on my mind. The piece also features quotes from Beethoven’s Waldstein, which I had been learning on the piano. Breathing also features, and the pianist in some way embodies my frustration at my own compositional voice.