Scale 9


Program Note

After having spent the better part of half a year studying intensively for major exams while working on my doctorate, I found myself wonderfully energized and ecstatic with my new abundance of free time once they were over. This piece was started while I was still in the midst of that euphoric, manic delight of having a huge weight lifted from my shoulders; it brims with energy that is in turns playful and volatile and frequently changes in ways that are often unexpected.

Scale 9 is the scale used to measure hypomania in the MMPI, a manual widely used by psychologists which provides diagnostic criteria for various mental conditions. I try to capture some of the hallmarks of a manic episode in this piece; especially distraction by irrelevant stimuli, flights of ideas, elevated mood, and accelerated and occasionally out-of-control motor activity. -Sean Friar

About Sean Friar

Composer and pianist, Sean Friar (b. 1985) grew up in Los Angeles, where his first musical experiences were in rock and blues piano improvisation. While his focus soon shifted toward…