Aiearih (Piano)

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This is probably my most thematically interesting and coincidentally longest piano piece so far. It may actually be more of a series of songs like chapters in a story, but I leave them together since it was originally played on the spot in one session. I'm also finally becoming more comfortable improvising both hands at once and switching fluidly between keys without really thinking about it.

The piece itself originally was just me messing around in new keys but upon listening back really brings to mind the scenes of a character embarking on a journey into the world and the lessons that come, a sort of coming of age. The piece evolves as the character goes from an inexperienced newcomer to a more inquisitive and observant student of those around, before finally setting out one last time to face the world again. You can hear the parts where the character may be sailing off prematurely at first and charging head-first before failing, becoming more humble and learning, and then facing the storm again with more experience and appreciation of the journey itself. It's a bit of a hero's journey, though it really just fits any story with a protagonist and tale of exploration.

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I like the tranquil mood at the beginning. It has great emotional depth to it. This piece is very flowing and majestic, although there were a couple of small moments when you interrupted that flow by not holding out notes long enough, such as 1:03, 1:55, etc. You did a great job of creating structural contrast here, too, as exemplified by 3:04, which followed a much more energetic section. Perhaps on a less serious note, I’m very curious about the title of this piece. It evokes a person’s name, although I was unable to find its meaning on the internet. Does it hold some special significance for you? I’ve always admired improv in general, though. It’s captivating to me that people can come up with such beautiful music as they play it. I thought this piece had a lot of space to it as well. For example, 5:29 and other little moments that let the piece breathe a lot between some very smooth-flowing sections. The piece also has a great narrative feel to it. If I had to complain about something, it might be that at times you seem to use block chords or excessively muddy notes (9:53, 11:43, 1:27, etc.) that make the piece a bit crunchy and disallow you to use the entire harmonic space that you could’ve to give this piece a nice, full texture all the time. Perhaps it’s just that you need to think more carefully about which notes you’re giving the most emphasis to. For example, the bass notes are a little overpowering at 12:46, even though it’s clear you were going for some drama there to contrast with the tranquil section that follows at 13:15. Also, even though this is an improv, I would’ve liked to see you try to maintain at least some common sense of theme. Coherence is just as relevant to 17-minute-long tracks as it is to 3-minute-long ones, although you do tie the various themes of this piece together very well in general. The piece doesn’t have much sense of climax at the end, but perhaps you make up for that with the emotion at 16:05. Overall, this is very enjoyable work. You’ve exemplified how to use minimalism and simple instrumentation right, my friend. Keep up the good work. ;D


pftq responds:

Thanks! Appreciate the in depth review. My live playing with chords is not as proficient as I'd want it to be, but much of what occurred in the piece compositionally is intentional and how you end up feeling as a result of them is what I was going for, including the interruptions in flow. The lack of repetition of some theme is more or less exactly what the traveler feels on the journey (and this song can be said to be written from that first person perspective rather than a third person observer) - that as you go further and further, you never really quite find a single identity, becoming a different person with every new place you encounter with no real linkage to the last, with only yourself ever really knowing the full journey and having few occasions to reflect (which is represented by the very rare occasions a theme does resurface). The only commonality is the feel, which remains largely the same, a bit reversed in that rather than a single theme being changed it's many themes over the course of the song with a hint of familiarity. It's like a person changing over time but upon meeting them you can't help feeling you still know that person amidst all the change they went through. Aiearih is just Hiraeia backwards.

great job, wish i could play that well

pftq responds:

Thanks! It just takes time. I have a keyboard at home that I just play randomly on everyday (no sheet music or anything, just free flow) and eventually just started being able to intuitively direct what I wanted to hear.

Credits & Info


4.50 / 5.00

Jun 13, 2016
10:59 AM EDT
Solo Instrument
File Info
24 MB
17 min 27 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.