Chicago Blue Time

for piano solo

Camden Reeves

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for piano solo

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Composer Camden Reeves
Year of Composition 2020
Duration 6'30"

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-cr2cbt1


In October 2019 I visited Chicago to hear Tom Hicks give the world premiere of my BLUE SOUNDS for piano. As a life-long fan of the Chicago Blues (Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed et all),
the trip was something of a pilgrimage for me. Hearing Tom play BLUE SOUNDS in the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, Evanston, at sunset – with its view of Lake Michigan and the skyline of Chicago behind – was a truly magical experience.

Earlier that week, Tom and I paid a visit to Buddy Guy’s Legends – the famous Blues club on 700 South Wabash. This was the first time I had the chance to hear real Chicago Blues live. The evening included an appearance of Buddy himself on stage. As we sat there, listening to the punchy rhythms, I had the idea of writing a musical parallel to BLUE SOUNDS.

CHICAGO BLUE TIME was the result. It is a parallel to BLUE SOUNDS in that, whereas the earlier piece is a slow, contemplative work interrupted briefly by a fast, rhythmic section, CHICAGO BLUE TIME is
the reverse: a fast, rhythmic piece, interspersed with glimpses of the former meditative work. It takes as its theme the shuffle pattern (longshort, long-short etc.) so characteristic of the Chicago Blues,
superimposing and juxtaposing this simple musical idea at different speeds.

The score is dedicated to my dear friend, Tom Hicks (who was there with me at the work’s inception), in thanks for his many years of championing my piano music.