Joram van Duijn’s Motif No. 1 is a meandering and introspective solo piano piece with just a hint of decorative sound design. Performed on a felted upright Yamaha, the piece is muted and textured, creating an intimate experience for the listener—everything from the opening creaks of the piano bench to the sound of the hammers has been beautifully harnessed, resulting in a very personal and cherished sound. The preparation lends a thoroughly modern-classical approach to the work, and the fleeting whispers of the sound design nudge a nostalgic and old-soul piano work into the 21st century. The pairing of the older classical waltz style with these new approaches grants the piece something of a subtle progressive edge.
Motif No. 1 is a rumination on the central routine of your life, the word “motif” itself often referring to a pattern, structure, or design. The piece begs the question, “why do you get up in the morning?”, and musically ponders the idea of finding meaning in the time that we are all alive. This first question leads to a greater “why”, letting the listener travel down an infinite path on their own introspective journey. The music itself feels like a clock: time winds down, the music plays away, pausing, running out, and eventually fading out into eternity.