By John Peterson

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10 pieces for piano solo.  Advanced level of difficulty

Incantations is a set of ten evocative piano pieces that are intended to be musical representations of a variety of experiences taken from everyday life. While the concept for each piece originated in experiences from my own life, I do feel the essence of these experiences is something common enough to be recognisable, and thus able to be appreciated, by almost everyone.

Why the title ‘Incantations’? An ‘incantation’ is usually understood to be a type of formula that can be either spoken, sung or chanted, and which is intended to have a magical effect on a particular person (or even on particular objects), and it can also be something that is performed during ceremonial rituals or prayers. I think that music, in general, has many of these same qualities: music of all styles and genres can affect us personally in vividly evocative, deeply emotional, and sometimes even in remarkable and unexpected ways and, as such, I feel music can have a type of ‘magical’ or transformative effect upon us as individuals. Thus, for me, these piano pieces have an evocative power much like the inherent power of an incantation. I have also chosen to interpret the word ‘incantation’ as referring to a melody, or a melodic fragment, that is repeated not only in order to enhance its effectiveness, but also to support the generative qualities that enable its mystical powers. Thus, I have grouped these ten disparate pieces under the singular title of ‘Incantations’ because they are all based, in one form or another, on quite small amounts of melodic material that is not only repeated but is also constantly varied and expanded upon within a variety of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic contexts.

  • 1.  Performing a Solemn Ritual, c.3'20
  • 2.  Falling Under a Spell (Enchantment), c.4'05
  • 3.  Riding the Waves, c.3'35
  • 4.  Entering the Great Cathedral, c.3'55
  • 5.  Running the Gauntlet, c.4'20
  • 6.  Amid the Chaos:  an Invocation, c.3'30
  • 7.  City of Industry, c.4'40
  • 8.  Across the Oceans (Deep and Blue), c.5'20
  • 9.  In the Twilight, c.4'10
  • 10.  Rush Hour, c.4'30

Composed 2022

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 ISMN 9790673141544

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