Monday, December 2, 2013

A Brief One-Off - Gerald Kechley's Foggy Morning

It's about time I covered another Pacific Northwest composer, considering my John Verrall article was months ago.  Like Verrall, Gerald Kechley was a teacher at University of Washington many moons ago, and also like Verrall was included in the pedagogical piano collection Northwest Passages: Intermediate Piano Pieces by Six Northwest Composers.  I can't blame you if you've never heard of it, as it was only printed and distributed locally - I only discovered it because my local library system (which is awesome) had a copy, and it's pretty dang strange for a public library system to have an obscure piece of sheet music.  I don't know if I'll really dive into his music, but I did find one of his pieces in the collection to be quite lovely, and appropriate for the end of autumn.

The language isn't easily analysable, but it doesn't really matter.  Foggy Morning is quite jazzy, though tightly structured and prone to Schoenbergian dramatic denouments, and gets good effect out of a mere handful of sonorities.  It works quite well as a pedagogical piece, and fulfills my wish of bringing young musicians to the possibilities of modern music.  Much like Earl George's Intermezzo, this piece might work better tucked in a corner than widely distributed, but I made a recording anyways - and it's okay if it's not actually a foggy morning when you listen to it; the piece does a fine enough job of taking you there in spirit.



  1. I am listening to a private recording of Kechley's DAEDALUS & the MINOTAUR from the Seattle Opera House, 16 Oct. 1962. Does anyone know the composer's dates, or if he is still living?

    1. I don't know when he was born, but considering a composition from 1944 is listed in Music Sales Classical I would have to assume he'd be dead by now, or at least quite old. How did you get the opera recording? I have a Dropbox, and I'd be interested in hearing it.

  2. The composer was born in Seattle, 16.03.1947.

  3. Gerald's daughter in law says to tell you that he is very much alive and would love to speak with those who enjoy his music! Contact Two of his sons are composers (the date given above is for one of his sons).