Scenic Route

for piano solo | 2011

Scenic Route is a short piece for solo piano that I wrote in the summer of 2011 while attending the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, Maine. As I was writing the piece, the image I had in mind was that of driving through a beautiful landscape and enjoying the subtle changes in scenery (this is not hard to conjure up while living in Maine).  I grew up in the country and have always enjoyed taking back roads, especially if it offered a more beautiful or serene journey to my destination.

My initial idea for this piece was to have continual sixteenths notes. I wanted to write a piece in which the motion never stopped. This steady stream of sixteenth notes serves as a motor for the piece—as the scenery gradually changes, the constant sixteenths gently carry us around the next bend or into an opening in the trees. The music undergoes continuous variation and melodic ideas never return unaltered, suggesting subtle changes in the terrain.

Scenic Route was written for and premiered by my friend William Kelley.

Paul Barnes recorded Scenic Route for his album New Generations, which can be purchased on iTunes or Amazon. The excerpt below is from this album.