Valse was written as an extension of Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales with the title of the piece paying direct hommage to the original piano suite written in 1911.
Ravel’s Valses were written in response to Schubert’s similarly titled piano works at a time when Ravel was deeply fascinated by the waltz genre. The suite was premiered in May 1911 as part of an anonymised concert of new piano works, but was badly received and heckled throughout the performance due to its seemingly distorted and unsettling take on the much-loved bourgeois genre.
At the time of writing my piece I was interested in the DeepDream neural network project and how a psychedelic chain of influence might inspire me to take Ravel’s idea one level further. The resultant piece was a reconstituted triptyque of Ravel’s original work, with each section providing a different reworking which becomes progressively more denatured and unsettling to a listener familiar with the original piece.