Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Modal Preludes, Opus 30 by Alexander LaFollett


Did you know that there are 462 heptatonic modes?  I didn't either, until I saw Alexander LaFollett's modal system.  Do you know why you should care that there are 462 hetpatonic modes?  Because Alex writes beautifully constructed pieces in many of these modes and yet somehow each piece is both accessible and foreign at the same time.  I always think of them as communiques from another sound universe.


These three pieces are the first set of Modal Preludes that Alex wrote for the piano.  They're youthful works, composed when Alex was a teenager (he graduated from college at age 16--no, that's not a misprint).  I've had a long relationship with these pieces, both as a performer and a teacher.  They move from a quirky, almost mime-esque first prelude to a stormy second prelude into a raucous third prelude that is anchored by an almost jazz LH rhythm.  All three preludes reflect the capricious energy of youth.


Alexander has written for strings, winds, soloists, small ensembles, and (luckily for me), piano, including more Modal Preludes which will  appear in the blog on a future date.  All this information, along with his bio (and his explanation of his modal system), can be found on his website.  Most importantly, the website is where to order these fantastically fun pieces.

To order:  https://alexanderlafollett.com/site/

This casual home performance was filmed by Bob Wall.