Mondrian's Gambit

 Featuring compositions by Glen Charles Halls, for piano, orchestra, flute, cello, and electroacoustic. Piano performances are also by Glen Halls.

Deeksha Records DK 116



mondrians gambit compositions


Mondrians Gambit: Audio Samples

Afterthoughts 8:01 Listen here
Barber Pole
4:48 Listen here.
Hazel Eyes
1:46 Listen Here
Holy Child
1:59 Listen Here
Joyful Evening-late conception 6
4:53 Listen Here
Lisa Fugetto
2:05 Listen Here
Minor Ninth Inversion Canon
1:59 Listen Here
Mondrian's Gambit
9:16 Listen Here
Progression Meditation
21:16 Listen Here
2:02 Listen Here
Study in Harmony
7:14 Listen Here
Temple of Byzantium
3:56 Listen Here
There is Hope
4:57 Listen Here
Variations for String Trio, part 1
8:10 Listen Here
Variations for String Trio, part 2
9:30 Listen Here
Winter-Gentle Dark 2:34 Listen Here

Mondrian's Gambit: Album Information

All compositions by Glen Charles Halls, and registered with SOCAN.

1. Afterthoughts (8:01) Composed in 1998 and performed by Flautist Barb Ackerman. Recorded in Toronto.

2. Barber Pole (4:48) The piano voicings change by voice leading as the outer voices ascend and descend. (2014)

3. Hazel Eyes (1:46) Composed in 2014, This is basically a jazz composition, with great harmonies.

4. Holy Child (1:59)

5. Joyful Evening-late conception 6 (4:53) An improvisation, with a structure. It is based on a drone, and the improvisation seems to play with imagined partials high above the drone, creating a rich, harmonics filled texture. 2014.

6. Lisa Fugetto (2:05) A dissonant counterpoint fugue using a conventional 'bach style' fugue form. Composed in 2014.

7. Minor Ninth Inversion Canon (1:59) A colleague once remarked to me that minor 9ths are 'not to be used' in music, because they were a 'noise' !  So I thought it would be fun to use a minor 9th as the transposition interval for this canon.  I've always loved dissonant counterpoint anyways, like Early pre 12 tone Schoenberg, Bartok, and also the Norwegian composer Fartein Valen.

8. Mondrian's Gambit (9:16) Composed in 1993 and performed here by Martin Bonham, this explosive and virtuosic cello composition won first prize in the 1993 SOCAN young composer's competition.  The reference to Mondrian lies in the notion of complement as opposed to symmetry, and in the work arching lines often occur, where the second half of the phrase is a complement to the first, and is almost composed from a visual, constructivist-cubist perspective.

9. Progression Meditation (21:16) In this beautiful yet experimental work a series of arpeggiations occur, each played twice in a row.   In each sonority, at least 2 tones remain the same, and the main drone tone is maintained throughout the entire composition, though often concealed as an inner voice.  No chordal sonority is repeated later in the piece. Since each chord is played, then played again directly after, the mind looks backward rather than forward, dwelling in the sameness and the fusion of harmonics above the drone, often obscured within the sonority.  Then the chord changes slightly, and we note the change, and note the sameness. So there is movement, and yet stillness. There is progression and there is meditation at the same time.  One might draw comparisons to some of the compositions, or at least the basic 'vibe' of some of Morton Feldman's music.  Progression Meditation was composed in 2006 and originally released on the album "Progression Meditation". It may seem like a long song, and one might suggest playing each chord only once, with no echo, but that would basically ruin the meditative/reflective/passive perceptual aspect that the composition is trying to explore, so it must be this way, even if it is too long for radio.

10. Senjo (2:02) An excerpt from a short orchestral tone poem, Senjo is a Japanese word with multiple meanings, but can mean a gentle warrior's posture, and is associated with martial arts and ceremony.  The Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu is a major influence on this work.
11. Study in Harmony (7:14) Composed in Toronto in 2002, in this experimental electroacoustic work we hear the continuous microtonal transformation of a drone texture. Specifically it is the sound of consonant intervals  in a very very slow portamento to different registers. The mental concept here is one of timelessness, 'what would musical sound be like in a non-linear time field? "

12. Temple of Byzantium (3:56)  This work might be reminiscent of a couple of the Debussy Piano preludes. 2014. Built with a combination of 4th/quartal and whole tone structures.

13. There is Hope (4:57)  Jazz composition really , composed in 2002, but played with the poise of a classical work.

14. Variations for String Trio-part 1 (8:10) Composed in 1993 and finalist in the 1993 Olympia international composition competition in Athens Greece. 

15. Variations for String Trio-part 2 (9:30)

16. Winter-Gentle Dark. (2:34) This sparse piano work might remind of Weberns piano variations Op. 27, and also reflects some of the influence of Messiaen.


 Piano Sheet Music for Most of songs here can be found at and follow the links.