Meet the Pilburys
The Pilburys are a fictional family full of fun and quirks and may not be all that different from your own family! This collection of twelve charming solos, composed by Joanne Griffiths, are ideal for beginners and late beginners of all ages and will hopefully inspire students to compose music about their own families!
Monday’s Child is a suite of seven character pieces, composed by Joanne Griffiths, based on the children’s traditional British fortune-telling poem “Monday’s Child.” It is contemporary in style, particularly influenced by Ludovico Einaudi and Arvo Part. The pieces are mainly light and gentle in mood with meditative patterns, sequences, imitation and repetition at the core and topped with lyrical melodies, portraying the character of each child for that day.
Double Takes is a set of seven pairs of Rags and Blues, composed by Joanne Griffiths, and inspired by J.S.Bach’s Preludes and Fugues. Each pair is a study in contrasting styles, mood, rhythm, tempo, articulation, dynamic range and textures.
The collection progresses up the keyboard, through a range of keys beginning on C and ending with B, and covers many pedagogical techniques for an intermediate pianist whilst still remaining engaging and fun.
Midnight Blues, composed by Joanne Griffiths, is a contemplative, gentle solo, based on seventh-chords with a five-finger repetitive phrase. Variations on a theme, balancing the melody, harmonic structure and creating an atmosphere are all techniques required to play this mournful tune.
Left Hand Rag
Left Hand Rag, is a fun early intermediate ragtime style piece for the left hand, by British composer Joanne Griffiths. Reminiscent of a Joplin Rag, it is a workout for the left hand with plenty of bass reading and includes syncopation, chromaticism, pattern-based riffs and lots of bass reading.
Seven Sisters is a study in 7/8 time, inspired directly by Etude No.16 by Philip Glass. There are two main motifs that are introduced individually. One low in the bass and the other high in the treble, that are then combined to create some fun crossing the hands back and forth over a driving ostinato based on only two chords. There is plenty of scope for dynamic variation and sensitivity to tonal balance, whilst also playing with energy and imagination.
Chromatic Rag, composed by Joanne Griffiths, is an exciting cacophony of contrary motion chromatic scales, tamed into a jaunty pastiche of Joplin. It is based on popular left-hand patterns, interspersed with symmetrical chromatic runs, and therefore suitable for an intermediate player.
Something Reminiscent, by British composer Joanne Griffiths, has a reflective, lyrical melody over a repetitive, pattern based accompaniment with influences of Max Richter. Based around the C minor triad there are technical demands of evenness of touch and balance between hands, with a little left over right crossing for dramatic effect.
Something like Glass
Something like Glass, written by British composer, Joanne Griffiths is a study in consistent and even playing of triplets in the right hand, with changing clefs in the left hand that explore the outer areas of the keyboard. Intermediates will enjoy the essence of Philip Glass that flows through this evocative solo.
Something on the Slide
Something on the Slide is a Satie-esque waltz composed by British composer Joanne Grifiths. The accompaniment is built on two positions, C and G, with octave leaps from the bass to the chord. Awareness of balance between the hands is needed for this, to bring out the melody.
Lamentations is suite of solos composed by Joanne Griffiths for intermediate players to explore time signature changes, comparisons between simple and compound time, minimalism, and mostly how to express mood and emotion. Breathe is a peaceful, calming minimalist piece pushing the boundaries of 3/4 time and crossing it with more than a suggestion of 6/8. For Carolyn is an uplifting piece with lilting, contrasting themes, in Rondo form. Finally, Sorrow is an expression of grief, with a “bell tolling” theme throughout. It is also minimalist, centered around A minor and changing from 3 to 4 beats in the bar and covering several octaves of the piano.