The name of this piece comes from the old meaning of Air, that is, a song that shows off the capabilities of the voice. I also chose the word "Air" because of my recent attainment of a commercial pilot's license. While I wrote this piece almost nine years before beginning to work on the private pilot license, it never had a name until I decided to make it available through www.tributek.com.
People who have heard me play know that I am not an especially accomplished pianist. I do fake it well, but alas, I am not capable of much that I wish I were. None the less, I do get asked to play for things from time to time, and it is nice to have a few pieces one can play that are contemplative and beautiful, but are basically not very hard to play.
This piece is one I wrote just to have in my personal repertoire. While I have never memorized it, I have played it in public a few times, and people seem to find it easy to listen to and at least somewhat thought-provoking.
The melody wraps itself around a couple of simple motifs and then explores the emotional possbilities of a journey through some loosely related keys before returning to C. The arpeggiated left hand drifts from basic romantic to jazz-influenced chords while pushing the melody up to its peak of excitement and then releasing it back to its original contemplative mood.
From a piano teaching standpoint, this piece emphasizes the importance of the left hand as rhythm-keeper and mood-setter, while enforcing a no-look approach to being able to move the left hand easily through a couple of octaves in repeated arpeggios. It is also a good piece for developing basic pedal technique, as well as improving the musical sense of the emotional possbilities of a piece where tempo and dynamics can be varied. Reading accidentals well is also a must.
I had always thought that this piece would work well set for orchestra, and maybe some day I will set myself to the task of arranging it. For now, enjoy it in its original form, as a solo piano piece.
AIR IN C by Tom Kirkland comes in a PDF file containing five pages in all, four pages of music and the license page, packed into a file of about 1040K. Performance time is around 3:30, but the piece can easily be cut to fit in a shorter span.
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Last update: 4 March 2021