Spiral (2015)
for Solo Piano

Commissioned by Mohamed Shams

Selected work in the 34th Asian Composers League Conference and Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam (2016)

World Premiere:
October 16, 2016
The 34th Asian Composers League (ACL) Conference and Festival
Small Concert Hall, Vietnam National Academy of Music, Hanoi, Vietnam
Đào Trọng Tuyên, piano
Duration: 7 minutes

Program Notes

Spiral for solo piano is written for the pianist Mohamed Shams and inspired by the spiral ramp of Tokyo Skytree. When travelling to Tokyo and visiting the Skytree there, I went to its tembo deck (observatory) and was able to have a bird’s eye view of downtown Tokyo. Besides the gorgeous cityscape, I found the shape of the tembo deck is spiral with the modern design and that shape interests me.

It thus occurred to me whether I could transform this spiral shape into music. The piece begins with a narrow range of notes played by two hands alternated while a nostalgic and pentatonic melody is hidden in the rapid notes, and soon the intervals of these rapid notes are enlarged to form arpeggios. The gesture of upward and downward arpeggios symbolizes the spiral shape and spread out a whole piece. While constructing a composition, I am like a painter who is drawing spirals, whose shapes vary between smallness and largeness and whose tint shifts between shininess to darkness. At the same time, I am a composer describing sensitive, complex emotions and feelings evoked by these evolving spirals, from coldness to warmness and from calmness to wildness.

為鋼琴獨奏的《旋》是寫給鋼琴家 Mohamed Shams 的作品,此曲靈感來源是東京晴空塔的螺旋樓層。當我旅行東京去參觀晴空塔的時候,我登上了它的展望台得以鳥瞰整個東京市區。除了繁榮遼闊的都市景色之外,我也發現了這個展望台摩登現代的螺旋設計形狀讓我感到興趣。


– Feng-Hsu Lee (February 10, 2015 Hartford, CT)

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