Composer: Christopher Goldston
Series: Original Solos
Instrumentation: Piano Solo
Level: Late Intermediate
Key: F minor, C minor, D minor
Time Signature: 3/2, 3/4
Style/Character: Lyrical, pensive
Concepts: Pedal, phrasing, pacing dynamics, arpeggios, voice leading
Page Count: Music 9, Total 12
Printing Suggestion: Booklet on tabloid paper, double-sided, stapled
Released: 2024

Additional Info: Three Lamentations.

These three lamentations began as improvisations composed during the shelter-in-place order at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic affected each of us in different ways. For those living in smaller communities or with lots of personal outdoor space, perhaps the quarantine did not feel so dramatic. I, on the other hand, live in Chicago, in a fifty-five-story high-rise with over seven hundred condominiums. I would not leave my unit for days on end, for simply sharing an elevator with a neighbor could be a risk. My windows, which face a large park and Lake Michigan, were my outlet to the world. (The cover photo is one of many that I have taken of the lake, on walks to clear my head.) These lamentations are reflections of the solitude, grief, and loss we all felt during that time.

“Lamentation No. 1” is the shortest of the group. The left-hand arpeggios (occasionally shared by the right hand) undulate, like the waves of Lake Michigan.

“Lamentation No. 2” begins hollowly and starkly, followed by scalelike flourishes that should be very free, not in strict rhythm, as if improvised. The middle section features a duet, building up to a dramatic feeling of hope, only to crash into despair once again.

“Lamentation No. 3” is a simple reflection on solitude. The ending features a bell tone—a recurring D that might symbolize a remembrance chime or the passing of time—while the performer tries to find their way by exploring multiple harmonies sharing the same D. I play the arpeggios with the left hand up to the bell tone, then let the right hand take over, but the arpeggios may be redistributed between the hands at the performer’s discretion.

The production of this title is partially funded by a part-time faculty development grant from Columbia College Chicago.

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