Wendell Roth - A Distant Echo of Madness (Sample Only)

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Wendell is a multi-instrumental performer and composer from Ithaca, New York State with several self-released albums to his name. His most recent release, the West Winds EP, was released by 1631 Recordings in 2017. A Distant Echo of Madness is a heart-wrenching minimalist piece that was featured on Nils Frahms' Piano Day 2018 playlist. Wendell writes: “A Distant Echo of Madness is about my relationship with depression and anxiety. The right hand melody of this piece emerged when I couldn’t sleep one night last winter. It was very cold as I sat hunched over the keyboard, wrapped in a blanket, trying to calm my mind. I started playing quarter notes on the A key, which I find to be a very relaxing note, and this slowly evolved into the main melody of the piece. The up and down motion of the melody was very physical at the time, I was swaying in my seat left to right as I played, quite literally rocking myself to sleep. As I began to explore this melody further in the next few months I discovered it was about the “never quite surfacing” nature of depression. There is a quality of hope somewhere in my mind and I find myself drifting upwards and feeling light, but before breaching the surface, I begin to sink again. This repeats endlessly, and that is the nature of this composition. It’s somewhat disappointing every time the melody descends again instead of bringing us that much desired resolution. At the same time, however, it’s also a peaceful sort of melancholy; rocking you to sleep.”

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from Upright Vol. II, released September 13, 2018

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Upright is a carefully curated selection of sheet music that brings together the best contemporary music for solo piano.

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