PATIENCE – Solo Piano Improvisation |


They say, “Never ask God for patience, because you might not like the way He chooses to get you to have it.” I have never asked God for patience, and frankly, I never wished to have to have it, but here we are.

Why the Title

You can make a career out of the exercise of patience.
“Meditation by the Lake,” by Nat Sakunworarat.

I wanted to create a piece about having patience, because being required to have the sort of patience that is being required of me these days is, frankly, a new (and not altogether pleasant) experience for me. I created this piece to help me process this a little bit.

Some Notes on this Piece

This piece is supposed to feel agonizingly slow and constricted. I achieve this affect in a few different ways. Firstly, the piece, overall, and especially at the beginning is at a very slow tempo, and contains chords that are very compressed, in terms of register. The piece is (generally) in a minor; a very gray, withdrawn key. When the melody does come out, it is in a high register, and tends to “dwell on” (that is, repeat) particular phrases, almost to the point of being an ostinato; but it does move – barely. Eventually, the “patience” of the melody is “rewarded” by some polyphonic integration, as a couple of melodic strands move with it, and integrate with it, and then the piece concludes on a hopeful note, but at the very end, the melody hangs on the seventh scale degree, and doesn’t resolve. Within the compressed space of the piece, there is a significant amount of harmonic exploration, and even a couple of key changes, reflecting a complex stew of emotions with very slow and gradual forward movement.

Some Notes on the Featured Image

For Patience, I selected a photo in the public domain, entitled Meditation by the Lake, by Nat Sakunworart. I chose this image, because it depicts a Buddhist monk – the most quintessentially (not to say, stereotypically) patient kind of person I can think of.


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