There is about a 32 year gap between my most recent music and that which I wrote when I was younger (the stuff on this page). The music here is presented in not strictly reverse order, based on a CD that I made in 1989. I haven’t put everything on the CD on this page; some of it is a bit too insignificant, like one “piece” which is only 6 seconds long.
“Modern” recordings on this page (the majority of them) were done on my Nordheimer upright piano in Vancouver, B.C. on February 22, 1989 using Scotch 207 tape at 7-1/2 ips on a Sony TC-280 reel-to-reel recorder and a Sony F-998 One Point Stereo Dynamic Microphone. “Historical” recordings were made in the 1960s on the family’s baby grand Mason & Risch piano in Haney, B.C. with a Weber mono 2-track tape recorder.
All music on this page is Copyright © by Michael (Mike) Quigley; no reproduction of any kind without permission.
UNFINISHED - JAZZ -- Sketch • Audio
This undated fragment was supposed to be part of the “next” piece after Anita (below), but it never went anywhere. Every once in a while I would pull it out and try to complete it, without any success. When I was working on the first piece after my 32-year hiatus, Navire de sa Majesté, I had finished the first and last parts of it and was totally stumped as to what to put in the middle. I turned to these unfinished few bars and not only did they fill this gap (bars 19-27), but they didn’t even need to be transposed up or down to a different key ... which is just a bit peculiar.
ANITA -- Sheet Music • Audio • Performance
Anita (October 20-November 11, 1967) was the last completed piece from my early period, written at Fort Camp residence where I lived for two years while attending the University of B.C. Composing this piece would not have been particularly easy, because the rec room at this place had an old out-of-tune upright piano, as I recall. The dedicatee was chosen for her musical-sounding name.
E.G.B. -- Sketches #1, #2 • Sheet Music • Audio
Nicola -- Sketches #1, #2 • Sheet Music • Audio • Performance
Little One -- Sheet Music • Audio
Joanna -- Sheet Music • Audio
Katzenauge -- Sheet Music • Audio
C.A.G. -- Sheet Music • Audio
Back in the bad old days, Six Filles would probably have been translated as “Six Chicks.” The first of these piano pieces written during my senior high school years, E.G.B., dates from November 1, 1965, the main motif consisting of those three musical notes. Nicola (December 27, 1965 -- published in The University of B.C.’s student newspaper The Ubyssey, October 6, 1967) was the girl friend of a piano-playing friend well known for his boogie-woogie, rock and other stylings. (I was more of a classical kind of guy.) Little One was completed December 28, 1965, but had been in various stages of development for some time before that. Joanna, written in the key of D flat, has a nifty ending which resolves the piece into C major. It was completed July 1, 1966. Katzenauge (August 25, 1966) is based on the same chord progression as “Onward Christian Soldiers.” This had some connection to the fact its inspiration was a devout churchgoer. C.A.G. (September 8-10, 1966) was more of a “commission” than the previous five, again based on three musical notes. After creating these six works, I had actually had the nerve to go around and get all of the respective dedicatees (some of whom had no knowledge of the pieces in advance) to sign the manuscripts. Most of them looked at me like I was nuts.
MUSIC FROM “THE SOCIALITES”
Main Theme for “The Socialites” -- Sketch • Sheet Music • Audio
Riff Blues -- Sheet Music • Audio
On the Move -- Sheet Music • Audio
Music from The Socialites was for a play in the form of a movie script written in the summer of 1964. The theme, containing a flashy “concerto” part, was premiered on May 14, 1965 at my high school exposition (a combined variety and fashion show). Note the way that two of the motifs join in pensive counterpoint briefly at about 1:27 in the Theme. “Riff Blues” was intended as background music; “On the Move” was supposed to be for a “driving scene,” which included a classic Mustang, described in excruciating detail cribbed from a promotional book I got from the Ford dealership which was a couple of blocks from my house.
PERFUMED BLUE -- Sheet Music • Audio
Perfumed Blue was composed between January 26 and February 5, 1967.
TO FAIR EVELINA, MY DARLING DAUGHTER -- Sheet Music • Audio
To Fair Evelina, My Darling Daughter, was obviously from my “let’s think of the wackiest title possible” phase. When I performed this at my piano teacher’s yearly recital, it was untitled for obvious reasons. The piece has a very negative feeling about it, especially the middle with a 1-4-5 rock progression, the left hand playing in C major, the right hand in D major.
SUMMER & FALL -- Sheet Music • Audio
Summer & Fall (for Joanne) was completed on October 8, 1967 and first published in The Ubyssey on October 27th, 1967.
LATER -- Sheet Music • Audio
Later (December 30, 1966) originally titled “Linda,” and later subtitled “For Linda M,” was composed during a post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s gathering of several high school friends which was traditional for a few years during the mid-60’s.
ALL ALONE -- Sheet Music • Audio
All Alone (January 6, 1965) was my first post-Socialites composition.
DERIVATIVE -- Sheet Music • Audio
“Derivative” is the name given to this piece by a fellow visiting me from England. What was interesting about him was I had put an ad in The Gramophone inquiring about some LP records and he had these for sale. Not only was he coming to Canada, but to the town where I lived (Haney, later Maple Ridge), and he was related to one of my mother’s friends. He didn’t say what the piece was specifically derivative of, though it has foreign-sounding (Mexican? Brazilian?) elements to it.
JEANNETTE -- Sheet Music • Audio
Jeannette was named after a friend I knew during university. Much of the piece, which was published in The Ubyssey, was supposed to be improvised. This version consists of all the sections which are not.
#1 -- Sheet Music (for all three) • Audio
#2 -- Audio
#3 -- Audio
The first of Three Preludes was based on a section of the Overture to Variations on a Jazz Composition (below). The performance of the third one above was created by multi-tracking.
SARCASM FOR PIANO -- Sheet Music • Audio
Sarcasm for Piano (sketches are dated December 20, 1965) was inspired by the third piece of Prokofiev’s composition of the same name where each hand plays in a different key. In my piece, the right hand is in F, the left hand is in G, but this is no big deal, since the left hand part is the same 3 notes over and over. The dissonant part before the final statement of the main theme contains a motif from a large-scale Heldenleben-like opus I was planning, representing the “critics” like in Richard Strauss’s work.
OPUS 8 -- Sheet Music • Audio
Opus 8 (the title means nothing chronologically) is twelve-tone, but only in the sense that all twelve tones have to be used before they can be used again (there is no “row”). It was entered in a composition contest held in the Okanagan and got an honorable mention. (My brother Thomas’s simultaneously-entered piece got a higher prize.)
UNTITLED - WEIRD -- Sheet Music • Audio
Untitled — Weird was originally part of a longer composition, an exercise in atonality influenced by my interest in Schoenberg’s Opus 11, 18 and 23.
DUET FOR PIANO -- Sheet Music • Audio
Duet for Piano was written for my brother Thomas and myself. The version here was created by multi-tracking, recording one part, then listening to it and playing the other part at the same time. There is a “historical recording” of this piece from the 1960s, actually played by me and my brother.
EXPOSITION PRELUDE -- Sheet Music • Audio
Exposition Prelude is a flashy display of arpeggios, octaves, sixths, and so forth, first performed at my high school’s exposition in the spring of 1966. The final chords were inspired by the end of Prokofieff’s 3rd Piano Concerto.
ROUGE NEIGE -- Sheet Music • Audio
Rouge Neige, finished on February 14, 1967, is an oddball piece, mostly composed away from the piano. It’s pretty hard, but compare the timing of this performance with the “historical” one made in the 1960s.
VARIATIONS ON A JAZZ COMPOSITION
Overture -- Sheet Music • Audio
Prelude -- Sheet Music • Audio
Theme -- Sheet Music • Audio
Overture, Prelude & Theme (Variations on a Jazz Composition) dates from 1962-1963, and was composed under the pseudonym of Cćsar Doric. The theme was originally from a parody movie created by me and Howard Baker called Triumph of a Mobster. Note the influence of film composer Miklós Rózsa, one of my musical heroes.
MUSIC FROM “JULIUS CĆSAR”
Overture -- Sheet Music • Audio
Incidental Music - #1 -- Audio
Incidental Music - #2 -- Audio
Incidental Music - #3 -- Audio
Incidental Music - #4 -- Audio
Incidental Music - #5 -- Audio
This is the oldest extant original music by me. Overture for "Julius Cćsar” (dated March 11, 1962) was written for a revision of Shakespeare’s tragedy (the whole play) which I had done, intended for a puppet show which never was produced. The five sections of incidental music are 1. Cćsar’s Theme; 2. Pompey Theme (Gnaeus Pompeus, Roman General); 3. March (stolen from Miklós Rózsa’s King of Kings); 4. Conspirator’s Theme (direct plagiarism of the wolf’s theme in Prokofieff’s Peter and the Wolf); and 5. Morning.
MUSIC FROM “MARVINICUS”
Overture -- Sheet Music • Audio
Prelude -- Sheet Music • Audio
March to the Tin Mines -- Sheet Music • Audio
Strategy -- Sheet Music • Audio
Escape -- Sheet Music • Audio
Prelude to Battle -- Sheet Music • Audio
Music for Marvinicus (1962), written under the pseudonym of Miklós Quivalos, was for a parody of Spartacus released by the equally parodistic movie company Mark-Quigley-Mark (M-Q-M). The element of parody also extended to piano folios created of music for spectacular films of the time such as Ben-Hur, King of Kings, and El Cid, several of which I owned.
OVERTURE TO “KRAKATOA” -- Sheet Music • Audio
Overture to Krakatoa (1962-3) was written by “Cćsar Doric” for another M-Q-M parody, this time of M-G-M’s Mutiny on the Bounty. Some of the musical inspiration came from a Mighty Mouse cartoon about the famous South Seas volcano.
IMPROVISATION -- Audio
Improvisation is a lengthy, brooding piece made up on the spot, consisting of various elements I had been experimenting with. The recording date is unknown, probably around 1962-3.
Click here to see a performance of a more recent improvisation.
WAGNER: PRELUDE TO “TRISTAN AND ISOLDE” (ARR. BY MQ) -- Sheet Music • Audio
Wagner: Prelude to Tristan and Isolde was arranged by me from a full orchestral score. There is an error, bar six got missed out. The stuff in brackets in bar five is what should be played in bar six.
WAGNER: PRELUDE TO “SIEGFRIED,” ACT 3 (ARR. BY MQ) -- Sheet Music
Also arranged from a full orchestral score; unfortunately, no recording exists. It is recommended that the single note bass line like at the beginning be played as octaves.
Back to my “new” music.