PATIENCE – Solo Keyboard Improvisation |


"Picture Quote about Patience," by Linnaea Mallette, taken from [PublicDomainPictures.Net]; this image is in the public domain.
“Picture Quote about Patience,” by Linnaea Mallette, taken from [PublicDomainPictures.Net]; this image is in the public domain.
Patience is a virtue that is related to endurance. You don’t have to have it when things are as you would like them to be. You need patience when, from a certain perspective, your situation is not tenable long-term. I say “from a certain perspective,” because what it is really about is focus. If you focus on that which has not arrived yet, the pain of lack can be a source of unbearable suffering. You must intentionally focus on other things. Know that things will be alright again. Then you will exercise patience, and it will be less of a burden to you. Enduring lack is a matter of directing your attention to areas relatively untouched by the lack. There is a certain kind of discipline in this. Therefore, patience is a discipline.

Some Notes on Patience

This piece is agonizingly slow and constricted. I achieve this effect 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 The piece is (generally) in a minor; a very gray, withdrawn key.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; it 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.


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