John Cage composed Sonatas and Interludes between 1948-49. The piece transformed the timbral possibilities for piano. About 10 years ago, Amy obtained the preparations for the piece. I was overjoyed when Amy approached me about writing her an interlude as a part of her Interludes project which invites several composers to write new interludes that she then performed alongside one another and the original Sonatas by Cage.
Much research went into the planning for this piece. I analyzed the music and color coded the preparations so I could organize the “type” of sound (with slight variations, essentially, screws, bolts, plastic, and rubber). Quickly, I realized two parameters would drive the piece, rhythm and timbre. As a tool, I obtained the Prepared Piano virtual instrument (through bigfish audio). Designed by the Cage Trust, this extraordinary tool allowed me to play and experiment with accurate sounds.
During this time, I came down with the Flu which got me thinking about how viruses enter and leave our bodies. Despite all the research I put into the piece prior to composing, I wrote this is just a few days. It was extremely fun and strangely intuitive. Interlude Influenza will premiere in February 2022 at LSU by Amy Williams.