Sean Hickey profile

Funny Papers

Form
Chamber
Instrumentation
accordion, piano
Year
2003
Duration
14:00
Premiere
5/04, broadcast on Radio Espana: Angel Luis Castano (accordion); Ananda Sukarlan (piano)
Description

Funny Papers, for accordion and piano, was commissioned by Duo An-Tifon in 2003 and was composed in the same year and dedicated to the fine musicians of the duo: Angel Luis Castano and Ananda Sukarlan.

 

           

 

 

Program Notes

Funny Papers, for accordion and piano, was commissioned by Duo An-Tifon in 2003 and was composed in the same year and dedicated to the fine musicians of the duo: Angel Luis Castano and Ananda Sukarlan.

 

            I wished to compose something that would showcase the respective abilities of Angel and Ananda as virtuosos but not at the expense of the musical idea or overall form. As it turns out, the form in this piece is that of an extensive and loosely-structured suite in eight sections or movements. The ostinato – a repetitive rhythmic pattern – governs nearly every movement. In several places, particularly in the final movement, a steady ostinato in maintained in one meter while the other instrument navigates its material in constantly shifting meters and longer patterns. These ostinato are deceptively simple – the first movement utilizes a simple eighth-note leap of a minor ninth – but serve as a foundation for extensive variation, both rhythmic and melodic.

 

            The second movement is slow and recitative-like while the third asks for the players to perform almost entirely in octaves. The piano in the fourth movement introduces an ostinato in a leisurely 7/4, while the accordion begins the fifth movement, pouring out a steady stream of sixteenth notes in an unchanging 10/16 meter throughout. The short sixth movement concerns itself with extremes of volume and phrasing while the demonic seventh movement obsesses over a particularly dark repetitive pattern. The final movement is a bit of a comic romp in changing rhythmic patterns where elements of minimalism and melodic angularity combine with the spirit of rock and roll.

            Funny Papers was premiered by Duo An-Tifon on 22nd November in Madrid. It has since been broadcast throughout Spain.