I was in the midst of improvising on the piano this past weekend, when unbidden a tantalizing phrase leaped out of my subconscious mind that wouldn’t leave me until I abandoned the instrument and wrote it down on my computer. There followed a stream of consciousness that in turn led me inexorably to my Yamaha MIDI: there in fairly short order I composed an impromptu piece with an incessant, almost fierce, undercurrent of repeated notes in the left hand, leading to a contemplative midsection of peace and quietude. Not for long, because something within me demanded that I return without delay to the urgency of now.
I recall that some years ago in my native India I was moved to compose a song in remembrance of the late Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Peace” on the anniversary of his assassination. As is well known, Gandhi led India to independence through nonviolent civil disobedience. I was fully aware of the role that movement had played in another iconic world figure’s life – that of Martin Luther King, Jr., whom I had long admired for his role in the civil rights of African-Americans in my future home, these United States. So, perhaps, it is not surprising that on a certain day in October 2015, those two remembrances coincided to spark my creative effort in composing “The Fierce Urgency of Now” subtitled Impromptu in B-flat Minor.
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