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[Ben Phelps looks at a crane]

Works > Chamber music- standard > Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long

Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long

For piano and electronics

2017. 30 minutes. Written for pianist Vicky Ray.

Gospel spiritual.
In nine exponentially expanding movements.
Tenth movement, for piano and chamber ensemble, TBD.

Sometimes I Feel Like My Time Ain't Long is an exponentially expanding, time-stretched set of variations. The solo piano accompanies a wax cylinder recording from the Alan Lomax collection of American Folk Music held at the Library of Congress. The source material is a simple gospel tune sung a cappella. What begins as a 20 second verse is eventually stretched into a 30 minute movement. As the original recording is stretched over longer and longer periods of time, what originally sounded as a single note becomes complex multitudes of pitches. We start to notice all the microtonal imperfections in the original performance: the tension between the microtonal complexity of the vocal lines and fixed equal-temperament of the piano are explored, as is our very perception of musical time.

To order parts and scores, please contact me.