Commissioned by the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia with funds provided by the Music Teachers' Association of NSW, APRA and the Australia Council for the Arts.
First performance by Hoang Pham (piano), Sydney International Piano Competition, Seymour Centre, Sydney, 21 July 2008
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
William Shakespeare, The Tempest Act IV
Prospero’s speech describes something wonderful which has just passed. My piece also begins with the end of something, which the rest of the music then attempts to remember, rekindle and relive. So the mood is at once elegiac and mercurial (Fantastico is the marking at the head of the score), the musical texture characterised by a chain of slow moving chords that overlap and blur, and sharply etched staccato runs that scurry under and over the surface.
Thin Air was commissioned by the Sydney International Piano Competition and played by