Composer Karen LeFrak has released the first volume of a four-album project titled Interlude, distributed by Naxos Music Group. The first album, Harmony, released on March 5, 2021, consists of short pieces for solo piano performed by Jorn Swart under the name Doeke. Three other albums, titled Inspiration, Acknowledgement, and Clarity, will follow later in 2021.
LeFrak is known for her ballet scores and orchestral works, but she cited composers whose music is âdirect, like Erik Satieâ as inspiration for the new project. The relative simplicity and easy quality of these compositions reflect this perspective. Indeed, the opening piece’s initial major seventh chord, titled “Harmony”, can immediately recall Satie’s ever-popular. Gymnopedies. But LeFrak’s new piano compositions are influenced by broader traditions. This opening piece borrows chord changes from jazz and the Great American Songbook, and ends with a major chord but in a different key, giving it both a resolute aspect and an unresolved aspect.