Hens Flying Overhead

Martin Butler and I were in graduate school together, and Martin -- being a very accomplished pianist -- asked if I would write a piece for him to perform on an upcoming solo concert. I recall him saying "Give it a lot of flash... make it a real barn-burner of a piece!" Little did he realize that I would subject him to pages and pages of nonstop 16th notes at high tempo. I was inspired by the hammered dulcimer players I had heard at bluegrass festivals in my youth, and I'm not sure how much Martin appreciated my turning his hands into "hammers".

He seemed to anjoy the physical abuse, however, And he did an amazing job performing it. Somewhere I have a tape of the concert; I hope I can locate it.

(music here if I can find it)

2018 comment: I found the music! While packing up to move from Roosevelt to New York/Whidbey Island, I found many tapes. One of the cassettes was labelled "Martin Piano (me)" and it had a recording of this piece. It's dubbed from cassette, but the quality isn't too bad. Somewhere I believe I have a DAT tape that was made from the PCM F1 master recording. If I ever find it (and it still plays), I'll put it up. But in the meantime, happy listening! It was fun to be that young, back then.