I am looking forward to playing Pieds en l’air by Peter Warlock as a piano duet with Katy Elliot at our Summer Concert. Katy is one of my adult students. She learned the piano to about Grade 6 level when she was a teenager and has recently restarted lessons. Her two children also learn with me and Gabrielle and it is such a pleasure to teach children and their parents.
Whilst I was listening to this wonderfully expressive piece of music, I was reading a music essay on music education by Donald Hodges from the University of North Carolina. The following sentences particularly resonated with me as I have always thought of music as the most expressive art form above all others. Music leads us on a journey through many different styles of music. Within each style of music, we often find something that we find inspiring, challenging, frustrating, heartbreaking, delightful – the list goes on! To be able to express so many different emotions through a piece of music is a voyage of self-discovery.
“Music provides unique and invaluable insights into the human condition. Music allows us to know, discover, understand, experience, share, or express such aspects of the human condition as feelings, aesthetic experiences, the ineffable, thoughts, structure, time and space, self-knowledge, self-identity, group identity, and healing and wholeness. If the purpose of an education is to systematically develop the mind and capabilities of every child, it is clear that music has a unique and necessary role to play.”
I hope you enjoy this piece. It is a simple melody off-set with a restless chromatic harmonic undercurrent that adds complexity and angst. The crescendos add peaks of poignancy to the tune to create what I think is a heartbreakingly beautiful melody.