Sudden Memorials

for piano

Kevin Malone

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for piano

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Composer Kevin Malone
Year of Composition 2021
Duration 30-32'
ISMN 9790570684120

Instrumentation Piano
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-km1sm1


The idea to write an eighth work about 9/11 arose during an April 2021 video call with my friend and long-time collaborator, pianist Adam Swayne. I hadn’t composed a piano work about 9/11, and the 20th anniversary of these tragic events was approaching. Other memorial works were tentatively scheduled for performance, but the COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing remit made commemoration difficult.

In 2006, I took a photo in of a makeshift wire fence near the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 Shanksville, Pennsylvania. On the fence, visitors had been attaching objects of remembrance, loss, honour and thanks since the crash. The photo captured a sudden, transient moment of hundreds of items, some carefully designed and brought to the site, while others were spontaneously offered when visitors were moved upon seeing it.

Sudden Memorials has an option for the pianist to improvise for two minutes while looking at the photo. During concert performances, the pianist is asked to seek invisible memorial objects from within the piano, the score and the air. These gestures coincide with the start of a subsequent musical “object”, some of which sound intimate or hesitant, others being extrovert and jarring.

Sudden Memorials is dedicated to Adam who is scheduled to give the premiere at Wigmore Hall, London on 11 Sept 2021 at 1pm, the exact hour in Britain 20 years on the from the beginning of 9/11. The work is being released on the Coviello label in September 2021.