Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, Art Institute of Chicago
The very sweet melody and luminous harmonies of “Do You Know My Name?” touch me in a very hard way every time I play through this music. The melody is derived very loosely from the Bach chorale On the Fortieth Day After Easter (Als vierzig Tag’ nach Ostern war’n, BWV 266). The title “Do You Know My Name” comes with no further explanation….
“Out of the Blue” grows out of the Chorale melody Christ is Risen (Christ ist erstanden, BWV 276). This melody has an inexpressible mystery in it for me, and I have used variations of it in several other compositions. “Out of the Blue” suggests the sudden arrival of something surprising – in this case a luminous joy.
David Maslanka, The Closer You Get, the Stranger the Stars Look…, 2003
“The Closer You Get, the Stranger the Stars Look…” began as a whimsical pastel drawing that I made some years ago. The stars are square(!), one is a Cheshire cat, one has a “message for you,” one has horns and fangs. This quiet and whimsical music suggests a deep listening to one’s innermost self.
“Let It Be” embodies yet another chorale melody: Lord, Do Not Be Angry With Me (Herr, straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn, BWV 338). The music is a deep prayer for peace within, peace with others, peace with our beautiful world, and the emergence of our lives as children of the universe.
Program note by David Maslanka