Monk in the Kitchen for piano | Michael Daugherty, composer

Monk in the Kitchen
for piano (2006)

Instrumentation: Piano

Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes, Hendon Music (BMI)

Duration: 3 minutes

Program Note:

Monk in the Kitchen (2001) for solo piano was commissioned and premiered by Emanuele Arciuli at the Miller Theatre, Columbia University, New York City, on November 20, 2002. Monk in the Kitchen is my contribution to Round Midnight Variations, a collection of variations inspired by jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk (1917-1982). Other composers who contributed to the project included, among others, Milton Babbitt, William Bolcom, George Crumb, John Harbison and Frederic Rzewski.

The title of my tribute refers to the story that Monk did much of his composing on an upright piano located in the small kitchen of his modest New York City apartment. I incorporate various musical sounds and gestures associated with Monk’s music to create a moveable feast of rapidly descending whole tone scales, dissonant open-voiced chords, percussive motivic fragments, and cooking rhythms.

–Michael Daugherty