Program Notes

This work explores, among other things, ambiguity. There are elements in the first movement suggesting certain established piano styles and yet never really arriving there. The second movement combines elements of contemporary “classical” styles with those of jazz and primordial conjurings, never living in one place or another. The title is intended to reflect this ambiguity. If “sound” is considered a noun and “travels” a verb, the title has a very different meaning than if “sound” is an adjective and “travels” a noun. Likewise, the first movement’s title “Take me inside” could refer to physically going into a structure, or it could refer to the jazz expression where “inside” refers to playing within the given harmonic structure (while “outside” refers to playing outside that structure); on some level, the movement wants to move toward an increasingly defined harmonic structure. The second movement’s title “Drive me home” could refer to the physical experience, or it could refer to a musical (or similar) intent, as in “driving the point home.” Or all of that can be disregarded, and the performer and listener can just have fun. Sound Travels was commissioned by Laifun Chung and Ted Kotcheff, Los Angeles, California. The first performance was given by Alpha H. Walker.