Sleeping Muse Study

Hyo-shin Na

Sleeping Muse Study
for piano solo


Sleeping Muse Study is the fifth in a series of piano pieces which I began in 1996 (Piano Study 1, Rain Study, Piano Study 2, Piano Study 3, Sleeping Muse Study). These are studies for both the pianist and the composer.

The title refers to Constantin Brancusi's sculpture, "Sleeping Muse", which is an oval-shaped, asymmetrical, tilted head with closed eyes. The pianist wears a bracelet of dried seed  pods on each wrist and the movements made while playing the quickly moving lines of music will vary from one performer to another according to the pianist's hand size and playing technique. The resulting mix of piano sound and sound from the seed pods is, necessarily, largely beyond the control of the composer. While working on "Sleeping Muse Study", I was reminded of the words of Samuel Beckett in Krapp's Last Tape: "Past midnight. Never knew such silence. The earth might be uninhabited ... Perhaps my best years are gone ... But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back."

 Sleeping Muse Study was commissioned by and written for Steven Cantor.

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