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Piano | STACY GARROP

STACY GARROP

a composer with a story to tell

a composer with a story to tell

SOLO PIANO


  • AT WATER'S EDGE • 6'
    The Commissioner holds exclusive performance rights until May 20, 2024 and exclusive commercial recording rights until May 20, 2025.

    Stacks Image 6196
    YEAR COMPOSED
    2022

    COMMISSIONER
    The work was commissioned by Daniel Berger for pianist Ivana Govedarska

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In November 2022, I spent a week in Estes Park, Colorado. I was excited to explore the Rocky Mountain National Park in the winter season, as I had previously only visited the Park during the summer months. I was immediately intrigued by the multiple states of water that existed simultaneously in the Park: snow piled along rock beds, lake ice frozen in a myriad of shapes, sparkling ponds, flowing rivers, thundering waterfalls, and the combination of water flowing below an icy surface. It seemed no matter where I went in the Park, I found myself at water’s edge; this inspired me to musically preserve what I experienced.

    At Water’s Edge depicts water as it cycles between fluid and frozen states. The piece opens with a pond, its surface softly rippling in the breeze. These ripples build to a flowing river, which then slows down as it freezes. As the ice melts, we again hear the flowing river, which builds into a thundering waterfall. The river calms as it flows away from the waterfall and re-freezes. The piece concludes as the water melts; we hear ripples on the surface of a pond once more.

    -S.G.

  • KEYBOARD OF THE WINDS • 8’20”

    AUDIO
    Nicholas Phillips, piano

    Impressions • Blue Griffin Recording BGR 409Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2015

    COMMISSIONER
    Wisconsin Music Teachers Association and MTNA

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    https://www.presser.com/110-41816-keyboard-of-the-winds.html

    PROGRAM NOTES
    I began hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado when I was in my early twenties. RMNP is home to some of the most gorgeous mountains in North America, encompassing 265,000 acres of wilderness, flora, and fauna. Among the park’s numerous summits is Longs Peak, a mountain that is 14,259 feet high (the highest in the region). From my earliest days of hiking, I was drawn to Longs Peak, as well as to a jagged stretch of rock formations that link Longs Peak to Pagoda Mountain (which stands at 13,497 feet). These formations are called the Keyboard of the Winds, as their thin, spindly peaks loosely suggest the splintered keys of an old, broken piano.

    One summer, I made the ascent to Pagoda Mountain using a route that took me along the right side of the Keyboard of the Winds. My hiking partner and I started up the trail in the pre-dawn hours, and the weather was stormy. Dawn had broken by the time we reached the base of the Keyboard, but its peaks were still surrounded by clouds. As we climbed higher and higher, the Keyboard’s thin spires became visible, along with the top of Pagoda Mountain. We reached the summit of Pagoda, admired the view (what we could see through the clouds), and made our descent.

    My piece is a tribute to the Keyboard of the Winds. The fast, whirling gestures depict swirling clouds, and the musical high points represent a hiker reaching the peaks of the Keyboard. I have contrasted these sections with quiet, introspective material; these embody the hiker quietly surveying the grandeur and beauty of the valley below (on a cloudless day), as well as the soaring pinnacles of Longs Peak and Pagoda Mountain overhead.

    -S.G.
  • REPAIR THE WORLD • 6'
    Marta Aznavoorian, piano • Nick Zoulek, video

    The Commissioner holds exclusive performance and commercial recording rights until July 5, 2024.


    YEAR COMPOSED
    2023

    DURATION
    6'

    COMMISSIONER
    Commissioned by Joanne Bernstein and made possible by many generous donors.
    When there are no words, there is music.

    VERSIONS FOR
    piano solo: professional
    piano solo: student
    piano trio: professional
    piano trio: student
    saxophone quartet: young professional
    string orchestra: young professional
    string quartet: young professional
    string trio: professional
    viola and piano: professional
    viola solo: professional
    violin solo: professional

    PROGRAM NOTES
    How does a composer write a work in response to the horrific mass shooting that took place at Highland Park’s Independence Day parade in 2022? I started with research. Joanne Bernstein, a longtime Highland Park resident and the commissioner of this project, arranged for us to talk with a wide range of people about the event, from city organizers and first responders to witnesses and survivors. We also visited the current memorial site for the seven victims, along with a Kindness Rock Garden situated close to the memorial where people have placed painted rocks with messages. Additionally, we sorted through thousands of tags written by people who visited the temporary arch memorial erected near the parade route in the months after the event. As I ruminated over our research, I placed on my desk a stone I had brought from the Rock Garden that had the word “peace” written on it. Alongside it, I put a tag from the memorial arch that was inscribed with the Hebrew words tikkun olam and its corresponding English “repair the world.” The rock and the tag stayed as permanent fixtures on my desk as I completed the process of composing the piece. These objects became my guiding light as to how to respond musically in my work.
     
    What is the role of music in response to such an event? I find three purposes: first, to honor the victims and survivors. Second, to reflect on the inherent goodness of the people who jumped into action to save the injured, who provided resources to the families of victims and to the survivors in the immediate aftermath, and who are continuously working to bring the community together since the terrible incident. Third, to attempt to bring healing to members of the community.
     
    In naming the work Repair the World, I call upon the Jewish concept of tikkun olam that we need to fix what is broken. This idea plays out musically in the piece, with melodies and chords first moving one way, then “fixing” themselves by reversing, as though getting repaired. The entire structure rewinds as well, with sections presenting themselves in reverse order halfway through the piece. I also wanted to express musically that our work to heal the world is ongoing. To represent this, I introduce a repeated note motive at the very opening of the piece; this motive is heard throughout the entire work. I end the piece with this same motive to signify that we still have work to do.
     
    Additionally, I wish to make the universal concept of tikkun olam personal for all who perform and hear it. I invite all presenters and performers to translate the title into the language that is personal to them and their audiences, and to list the title in their chosen language in concert programs. May we all strive to heal the world together.
     
    After the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in October 2023, musicians began performing Repair the World as a response to the crisis. The commissioner and I welcome musicians to play the work anywhere and everywhere people are dealing with loss of any kind, whether from gun violence, war, or even personal loss.
     
    -S.G.

  • THE SOLITUDE OF STARS • 5’ Enter description here.

    VIDEO

    Joseph Francavilla, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2020

    COMMISSIONER
    Utah Arts Festival commissioned the original sextet.

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    https://www.presser.com/110-41832-the-solitude-of-stars.html

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In 2014, I enjoyed a wonderful residence at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming. Ucross is an artist colony that gives writers, composers, and visual artists the gift of time, space, and support to follow their artistic pursuits; we are provided with studio space, housing, and meals so that we can work continuously on our projects. I have been in residence at numerous artist colonies; however, nothing in my previous experiences prepared me for living in such isolated, wild country. Ucross is situated on a 20,000-acre cattle ranch at nearly 4,000 feet in elevation with fewer than 150 people living within the town. But what Clearmont lacks in population, it makes up for abundantly and spectacularly in wilderness and wildlife. I composed the sextet Postcards from Wyoming to portray three glimpses of what I found to be the most striking aspects of my residence.

    The Solitude of Stars, the third and final movement of the original sextet, was inspired by the stunning nightly display of the heavens above. Without city lights dimming the night sky, countless stars shone brightly over the vast expanse of the prairie. In 2020, I arranged the solo piano edition for my husband, Joseph Francavilla.

    -S.G.
  • TANGO GARDEL • 4’45” Enter description here.

    VIDEO
    Jonathan Hannau, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2007

    COMMISSIONER
    Nicola Melville


    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    https://www.presser.com/110-41782-tango+gardel.html

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Carlos Gardel (1890-1935) was the most famous Argentine tango singer of his time. He had already an established performing career when in 1917 he began experimenting with the tango, which was at that time simply an instrumental form. He created the “tango-canciones.” or tango songs, in which he fashioned text to music. Audiences went wild over this new development of the tango, and Gardel spent much of the rest of his career composing and performing tango-canciones. Typically, subject matter of these songs consisted of mournful, longing ballads of love. Gardel’s life was tragically cut short in a plane crash when he was at the height of his career; his untimely death catapulted him to the status of legend in Buenos Aires and beyond.

    Tango Gardel is a tribute to Carlos. Amid dramatic flourishes, you hear Carlos’s voice, represented by a singing solo played mid-range on the piano as the music rapidly migrates through moments of rage, loneliness, and tenderness.
    -S.G.
  • TEENY TANGO • 1’10” Enter description here.

    VIDEO
    Svetozar Ivanov, piano
    Leslie Smucker, animation

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2003

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    https://www.presser.com/110-41798-teeny-tango.html

    PROGRAM NOTES
    I feel a great affinity for the music of Buenos Aires based on a trip that I took to Argentina in 1999. In Teeny Tango, I wanted to encapsulate the immense drama of the tango genre within a very compact (and short) form. This piece was written for and premiered by Amy Briggs.
    -S.G.
  • HELIOS • 4’30” • 2 tpts/flugelhorns, hn, tbn, tba


    PROGRAM NOTES
    In Greek mythology, Helios was the god of the sun. His head wreathed in light, he daily drove a chariot drawn by four horses (in some tales, the horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire) across the sky. At the end of each day’s journey, he slept in a golden boat that carried him on the Okeanos River (a fresh water stream that encircled the flat earth) back to his rising place. The cyclic journey of Helios is depicted in this short work for brass quintet. The first half is fast-paced and very energetic, while the second half is slow and serene, representing day and night.
    -S.G.