composition

Cat Dances

for Piano

  • Genre
    Keyboard
  • Commissioned by/written for
    David Brunell
  • Year completed
    1977
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    5:10
  • Catalog number
    083
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  • copies sold
  • 3
    known performances
  • General notes
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The Cat Dances were begun in March of 1977 and completed in May of that same year. I was at the time in the midst of his graduate studies at Indiana University, studying composition with John Eaton (whose dog was the subject for a later piece of mine.) Each of the dances was written for one of my three cats at the time, all of whom were from the same litter. Bobby, a tiger stripe, was born during the 1972 world chess championship match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, and was consequently named after the latter. His piece is a galop that goes at a lickety-split tempo. Snickerdoodle was a calico-colored female, and helpfully "composed" the introduction (the first two measures) of her piece by walking across the keyboard while the I was in bed attempting to go to sleep. Since I had had no ideas for her piece up until that time, perhaps she sensed my frustration and attempted to help me out. Regardless, having written down her introduction first thing upon awaking the following morning (I used the exact notes that she played, although I evened out her irregular rhythm), I found that the remainder of this slow waltz came very quickly to me. Aram was a gray and white tabby, who loved to bat at various objects, all the while hissing at them. His piece is again up-tempo, and uses a good bit of poly-tonality. I attempted to portray the playful spirit of each of these cats in these pieces.

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