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‘achterland’ (hinterland) is a set of small piano pieces started in 1991 and finished in 2013. Most pieces served as a study for larger works or were adapted from larger works.
  1. ‘Arvo Pårt in Santiago de Compostela’ originated as a piece for hammerklavier and harmonium (see supplement). It contains a quote from Franz Liszt and a quote from the psalms. It’s a highly personal work, mostly about the death of my father. I guess, feeling too much involved in the work, i gave it a puzzling, somewhat ironic title to divert attention.
  2. ‘meeuw’ (gull) is an early piece about seagulls later (2013) adapted for barrel organ and piano as part 1 of ‘anything honest in what short time?’
  3. ‘Z Hlávkova mostu’ (from the Hlávka bridge) was inspired by the early photographs of Josef Sudek. It was written for the 50th birthday of friend and composer Daniel Matej.
  4. ‘115’, an adaption of a Christian chant; a remembrance from long ago, grey sundays at home with my parents, reading Tintin and waiting for mondays.
  5. ‘accessoir’ (accessory) was written for Reinier van Houdt in 2000. We worked together for the first time when the Maarten Altena Ensemble played my ‘are you going out?’ and this work was a small present to cheer him up.
  6. ‘afrit 1’ (exit 1) later ended up as Fremdkörper in ‘attendre longtemps, je suis sans identité..’ (2006). It was an obsessive work based on a few chords i liked a lot.
  7. ‘achterland’ (hinterland) was my first ‘sparse’ piece. After this i wrote ‘acteren, even niet acteren’ (1996), my first large, silent work. I wouldn’t be surprised if the material would be worked out and expanded some day.
  8. ‘afrit 2’ (exit 2), a small shadow of 6.
  9. ‘homme fort et faible’ (strong and fragile man) contains fragments of ‘ange et cycliste’ (2008) as well as sketches for my coming pianoconcerto (2014). It came to life in 3 stages over 20 years. The final stage was dedicated to Anthony Fiumara, a friend who was really sick at the time, which explains the title.
  10. ‘8’ is one of my more complex pieces. Complex in the making. This string of eigth notes has been put together very carefully. I kept revising the piece year after year and now it’s finished. The original theme is by Charles Ives. ‘8’ is one of the basic materials for the music theatre performance ‘achterna gedragen’ (2008/11).
  11. ‘Arabica’, now there’s an ironic title. This piece sounds like how i feel after drinking too much espresso: hyper and fast forward. I’m not sure if the piece is playable at this tempo, let’s see what happens. A small part of the material ended up in ‘autour de la foi’ (2011).
  12. ‘kleine wals om iets te vergeten’ (little waltz to make forget), a small waltz for Carmen van der Roest, who needed to forget something.

  coda. ‘avec B., près de la gare C.R.’ (with B., close to station C.R.), this is an ultimate study in scarceness. A piece about waiting. The title refers to a girlfriend i liked a lot but who couldn’t make up her mind. the station in the title is the Parisian subway station ‘Croix Rouge’ which has been closed down in 1945. Nowadays you can only see it if you look carefully: dark platforms; the train never stops there, you drive and drive and never arrive if that’s where you want to go.

 Piet-Jan van Rossum, juni 2013