About this Piece
Metamusic II is intended as a short encore piece for alto saxophone, violin, and piano. Its title is derivative
of a chamber trio called Metamusic that I am a part of. Any time a composer writes a work with a descriptive title, the question arises as to what about the music reflects the title. In this case, almost everything. That’s because I spelled the title of the piece in the music. Doing so required some creativity. It also required the use of the Finnish language, which was appropriate since I was living in Finland when I composed it.
The spelling goes like this: The letter M in Finnish is pronounced “am,” as in “I am.” Am in music also means A minor. So this piece starts with an A minor chord. Then comes E, which is an actual note, so that was no problem. T is a musical term, as in the solfege syllables do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do, so T got assigned the note B. Then A, then M again. What does U mean in music? Nothing. So that’s what it was assigned—a rest. S in Finnish (“Es”) means E-flat. The letter I in Finnish is pronounced exactly the same as the English letter E, so I was assigned the note E. C is no problem, and the final II became EE. I pushed all those notes around until I came up with the little phrase in the piano that begins the piece. It is an ostinato that runs
through most of the work. Then the saxophone and violin enter and divide up the spelling of the title. The
beginning of the score indicates how the pitches are assigned in case you can’t figure it out. So the piece literally says “Metamusic II” over and over again. See if you can hear it!
View Perusal Score