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Program Note


for solo piano

by Reginald Bain

Harmony (2013) was inspired by Spanish-born Mexican surrealist painter Remedios Varo's Armonia (1956). In the painting, we see a scientist at work in a fantastical room arranging an intriguing array of objects into various permutations on a musical staff. The objects include a tetrahedron, the numbers pi and the square root of negative one (an imaginary number), a flower, a leaf, and so on. Einstein once said that music and scientific research are "nourished by the same sort of longing." The composer, in order to share his interest in mathematical ideas and their intersections with music, uses musical imagery to give voice to certain aspects of Varo's wonderfully mysterious painting.

I. Tetrahedron 2:38
II. Array
III. Permutation 1:45
IV. Imaginary Number 3:48
D U R A T I O N : 11:44

Harmony was commissioned by the Southern Exposure New Music Series in celebration of John Fitz Rogers' twelve years of service as founding artistic director. The world premiere was given by pianist Phillip Bush on November 11, 2013 at the John Fitz Rogers Composer Portrait Concert, Southern Exposure New Music Series, Mike Harley, artistic director.

Phillip Bush, piano

Southern Exposure New Music Series
November 11, 2013
University of South Carolina
School of Music, Recital Hall, Columbia, SC
Recording engineer: Jeff Francis

Updated: March 8, 2016