Birmingham pianist, composer and scholar Steve Tromans has a new digital-only album out, called Rememberings (And Other Things), and he describes the pieces in it as “musical haiku”.
Here’s what Steve has to say:
A musical haiku is a deliberately miniature composition or improvisation intended to evoke or invoke a sense of a moment in life that’s now passed or may yet be. A form of nostalgia – but potentially for the future as well as the past. To crystallise these kinds of feelings into the notes on a page, and on the piano: that is the project that led to this new album. And I’m very pleased with the results – as pleased as you ever are with the fruits of your own art-making, that is.
The various effects used to enhance certain aspects of each track are a new venture in my solo output. Decisions re the kinds of effect to use was motivated by the concerns of the haiku themselves – stereo re-positioning and deliberate recession in favour of a hazy sense of futurity, or retrograde playback to signal the desire to return to a former state of time and being, for instance. But there are others…
There is a narrative to the compositional structure of the album as a whole: framed at the outset and exit by two pieces explicitly dealing with the acts of remembering and (a kind of wilful, Nietzschean- Heideggerian) forgetting; subdivided into three sets of companion pieces by the antiphonal twinning of darkness and light, lightness and dark.
Of the meanings of the titles, and the memories and moments associated, I’m afraid they’re going to stay personal and private. But I don’t think any of the evocations and invocations are so far removed from the experiences and happenstances in anyone’s lives as to risk intangibility. This is music, after all, and music has its methods of working on the listener’s own ways-of-being and life experiences to make another’s art-making somehow relevant in new and sometimes unexpected ways. So I’m happy to let music take over at this point and deliver this set of musical haiku to its rightful owner – you, the listener. In hope you make your own memories and moments from these few notes. Recommended best played in the smallest hours of the night.
- Want to hear what these musical haikus sound like? You can on Steve’s Bandcamp site HERE.