“Puckett’s motet is a real find.”Gramophone
bill-y-tude was commissioned by Nicholas Phillips
\ˈbil-ə-ˌtüd\ n., 1 a state of mind or feeling experienced when playing Billy Joel’s piano licks. 2 a composition built on a technical foundation formed by Billy Joel’s piano licks.
I built my piano [and musical] ground floor upon the stones laid by Billy Joel and Elton John. To this very day, when I hear Falling of the Rain or Laura, I can’t help but picture a 16 year old me banging away on an out of tune upright.
The Cold Spring Harbor and Streetlife Serenader albums introduced me to
the rockabilly piano fills from the 50s and early 60s. These rockabilly fills are all over those albums and I learned quickly that I could throw one into almost any tune and get some smiles. My version of this type of fill takes center-stage in this etude and when the figure combines with some flying octaves that would make Liszt blush, it quickly moves into late night, totally badass piano thumping country. Something tells me my 16 year old self would approve.
bill-y-tude was commissioned by Nicholas Phillips with funds from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Academic Affairs Division.
The premiere recording of bill-y-tude is available on New Focus Recordings’ American Vernacular: New Music for Piano, Nicholas Phillips, piano. (FCR 144) [Digital copies are also available through iTunes and amazon MP3.]
To find out more information about Joel Puckett, please visit either billholab.com or joelpuckett.com.