The Desert – solo piano work composed with Dorico

Hello, all, I am delighted to share a new work I wrote with Dorico: The Desert. It is an extremely simple work: just 40 keystrokes. The inspiration hit me as I was thinking about the start of Lent a few weeks ago, and I went from initial idea to finished work (recorded and up in the distribution pipeline) in under 48 hours, which was a delightful and very novel experience for me.

The gist is: one note for each day/night of the 40 days of Lent, themselves a reflection of the gospel narratives of Jesus 40 days and nights in the desert. (Thus the title!) So: 40 notes. A lot of sustain pedal. A whole bunch of tritones. And each note gets a lot of beats: most of the measures are fun time signatures like 10/4, 9/4, etc.

I didn’t push Dorico particularly hard here—after all, it just a bunch of single notes and a couple chords in piano—but I will say that it made it incredibly easy to do this kind of thing, as well as to swap over to a free time version of the piece. It was also quite nice to be able to hide the extraneous second stave in the many bars where it was unnecessary with a single switch.

You can see both versions of the score in my longer writeup on my website, and there’s a fair bit of musical commentary in my extended YouTube video on the piece.