Commissioned for the Double Edge Piano Duo by the Mary Carey Foundation

Dedication: Derek Hill

  • 2pf
  • 26 min

Programme Note

Cicada is my first genuinely minimalist piece. The title comes from a series of works by Jasper Johns, that are built up from hatch-marks and which are mirrored symmetrically down the middle of the paintings. I felt the pictures reflected the way in which the two piano parts mirror and interlock with each other exactly. But the real inspiration for the piece was the work of James Turrell. A friend took me to an opening of his in Kilkenny. In the evening we sat in large cubic light box in the grounds of the castle and over a period of an hour watched a square of sky overhead turn from the blue-gray of Irish clouds, though Yves Klein blue to slate black. I stayed overnight in my friend's minimalist house in Killiney. The next morning I woke to a glittering square of sunlight reflected off the sea and I decided: no composition; don't change anthing except the tone.

The piece lasts approximately 23 minutes and was written for Double Edge (New York) with funds from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. It is dedicated to Derek Hill.

Kevin Volans