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AUTUMN RAIN IN THE YARD (2006)

This CD results from the confluence of accident, documentation, and reflection.  I sat my 17 month-old daughter in front of the piano without any expectations of what would happen.  What she began to play was so extraordinary, I ran to get my video camera to record it.  She played in the high and low registers of the instrument.  She played clusters, single notes and little melodies.  She played fast and slow, loud and soft.  Sometimes she paused to interject spontaneous vocalizations.

I took the audio from the camera, recorded it into my computer, and created new pieces entirely from her recorded improvisation.  The spirit of my daughter’s improvisation inspired me to be as playful with my manipulations.  Composition for me is always an intuitive process of discovery, not a means to express an intentional idea.  Everything from drones to sparkling clouds of chatter came out of my unpremeditated experiments.  Portions of her performance, only slightly edited for timing, emerge in most of the pieces as the primary melodic element. 

My daughter was abandoned as an infant in China and was adopted by my wife and I at the age of 10 ½  months.  The orphanage gave her the name, Qiu Yu Yuan – Autumn Rain in the Yard.  Her name is now Mia.  This CD is a collaboration on many levels - of east and west, youth and age, male and female, composer/improviser and arranger, acoustic and electronic, innocence and experience, father and daughter.  The last track of the CD is the original unedited recording of Mia’s improvisation.  It is included because, on its own, it exhibits a stunning quality of discovery, and is a fascinating account of a fresh young mind exploring the world of sound.