Basic Training

for piano
By Lee Hyla

“Basic Training was written for Steve Drury as a tribute to Margaret Ott, a wonderful pianist and teacher based in Spokane, Washington. The piece was commissioned by the Friends of Margaret Ott for performance at a concert in her honor in May, 1995. Basic Training loosely (and not really linearly) traces the development of a pianist from the Neanderthal-like, noise-producing thuds of first contact, through a number of textures and variations, finally achieving something of a sophisticated intimacy with the instrument. The piece also has as one of its primary ideas the development of a strong sense of space. This sense of space occurs both horizontally (often through the use of silence) and vertically (through hard juxtaposition of registers).” -LH

Other works by Lee Hyla:
“Once when father (George Ives) was asked: 'How can you stand it to hear old John Bell (who was the best stonemason in town) bellow off-key the way he does at camp-meetings?' his answer was: 'Old John is a supreme musician. Look into his face and hear the music of the ages. Don't pay too much attention to the sounds. If you do, you may miss the music. You won't get a heroic ride to Heaven on pretty little sounds!'”
--Charles Ives