SMALL STONES showcases Dr. Nancy Zipay Desalvo’s exploration into both minute and immense concepts. Recorded on solo piano, DeSalvo performs the compositions translating the compressed beauty of Jason Tad Howard and the expansive universe of Daniel Perttu.
In the first half of the recording, Howard’s set of nine “short shorts” feature songs all under the two-minute mark (with the exception of his final track, “Reconciliation: A Not Quite So Short Short Short,” which runs just over four minutes long). Despite their short run times, each composition is satisfying. DeSalvo makes the melodies twinkle and shine in multidimensions like small diamonds.
Based around the pitch of “C,” each short short establishes its own character and technical approach while sharing the common thread of its pitch. The compositions ring with recurring themes in melody and rhythmic texture, coming together at the final “Short Short No. 9” which unveils a grand finale.
Born out of a visit to Stonehenge, Perttu’s compositions expand on the pebble of a simple vision into a larger, more complex structure. In her ambitious, emotional performance, DeSalvo is translating Perttu’s pursuit to achieve full comprehension of the mystical nature surrounding one of the Natural Wonders of the World.