Blue Sounds for Piano: Solo Piano

Camden Reeves (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


World Premiere: Tom Hicks: Galvin Recital Hall, Bienen School of Music, Evanston, Chicago, 1 November 2019

Programme Note

This is a meditation on a colour.

Blue has a special provenance in the arts; just how special became increasingly apparent the more I looked into it. In Renaissance art, blue is the physical incarnation of divinity. For Picasso it became a single point of creative orientation spanning years. In Matisse, we see dark lines in counterpoint with shifting backgrounds of gentle calming blue. Van Gogh uses blue to cast his dark and swirling nocturnal fantasies. For Yves Klein – the Conceptual Artist par excellence – one single shade, devoid of all form or content, was enough to express everything and nothing. Derek Jarman’s Blue (1993), is a meditation on life and death. William H. Gass’s On Being Blue: A Philosophical Enquiry – is one of the greatest contemplations in prose one can find.

But is it possible to hear a colour? In music, ‘Blues’ is a genre, a scale and a harmonic structure. (Miles Davis’s, A Kind of Blue, with Bill Evans on piano: is this not the most important Jazz record ever made?) Stockhausen’s opera Donnerstaug aus Licht – a mythic retelling of cosmic battles between light and dark combined with highly personal
childhood reminiscences – is set in blue. Perhaps it is not literally possible to hear a colour, no. But sound is not literal. Vibration is physical. Sound as experience, on the other hand, is psychological. Just as blue reflects beyond what we can see, it likewise resonates beyond what we can hear.

This is my kind of blue. BLUE SOUNDS for piano.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherComposers Edition
Size12 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Piano
  • Blue


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