Keith Kirchoff

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Program Notes


Size Doesn't Matter


variations for toy piano and organ
Duration: 4 minutes, 30 seconds
Premier: Jan, 2003. University of Oregon Eugene, OR
Rose Whitmore, organ; Keith Kirchoff, toy piano

LISTEN: Whitmore and Kirchoff, keyboards


I was an unorthodox student while in college, and instead of doing my junior and senior recitals in back to back years (as is normal), I did them in back to back days (what was I thinking?!); I presented a two-day series contrasting comedy and tragedy in music. The first day, I played several pieces stretching all of music history in which composers were writing musical jokes: Satie, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Liszt, Babbitt, Bolcom, and others.

Traditionally, the University of Oregon only let their students use the concert hall (which was quite nice and had a lovely piano) for their senior recitals. The junior recitals had to be done in a smaller room, with horribly uncomfortable chairs, nasty acoustics, and a piano that looked like it had been pulled out of the dump. It was a nasty place to listen, and I couldn't stand the room!! There was one loophole, however: if the recital contained a piece using the organ, than the student could perform the recital in recital hall. And so Size Doesn't Matter (2002-03) was born!

I have always been interested in the counterpoint of the visual with the aural, and my music thus contains a lot of theater. This piece, although not overtly theatrical, has the obvious visual counterpoint of the largest keyboard instrument playing with the smallest.