First Performance Mercury Ruling and Herbie’s Funfare: 6 November 2015, Burgh House and Hampstead Museum; Annie Yim. A Hundred Monkeys: 28 August 2016, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge; Olivia Macrae
Charlotte has a worldwide, exclusive publishing agreement with Birdsong
Chapter Two is a collection of four pieces, written as gifts for various friends to celebrate the births of their children, the second in a series of collected piano pieces. Exploring the piano in various ways, the pieces are intended to be played by children or adults alike.
By chance, each of the four children that these pieces were written for were born in either air or fire zodiac signs. I took characteristics from each sign to inspire the corresponding pieces.
Mercury Ruling was written for Sebastian Charlie Reeve, whose zodiac sign is Gemini. An ultimate calmness feeds the piece, mysterious and flowing. The simple melody passes from right hand to left, over the continuous accompaniment pattern. The notes are derived from the letters in Sebastian’s name.
Herbie’s Funfare is filled with energy and determination. A fearless fanfare, it also finds its qualities in Herbie’s zodiac sign, Sagittarius. A live free improvisation by Herbie Hancock, opening Cantaloupe Island, also inspired the piece: the principal theme is a quote from his improvisation which drove my composition.
The witty and mischievous nature of A Hundred Monkeys is fitting for Evelyn, who was already 20 months old at time of writing. Independence and intellect were characteristics taken from her zodiac sign, Aquarius, to inspire the piece.
Pudding and Pie is a playful piece, the English nursery rhyme Georgie Porgie, Pudding and Pie giving rise to its character. It also has strength and determination, characteristics stemming from George’s zodiac sign, Leo.