From the recording Woodard: Lyric Suite for Prepared Piano - III
The six movements of Lyric Suite are the result of a single improvisational session on August 22, 2008. Woodard arrived at the extensive preparations for the piano from her knowledge of John Cage’s works for prepared piano and from earlier attempts to create all the instruments and timbres of the Balinese gamelan gong kebyar, which she had become familiar with as a member of Gamelan Dharma Swara in New York. Elements of the improvisation also betray influence from that style of music, such as the layering of lines, punctuating ‘gong’ strokes and even certain melodic modes. The title is a nod to Robert Motherwell’s painting cycle of the same name (rather than Alban Berg’s orchestral suite), which is based on similar improvisational impulses inspired by far eastern aesthetics and notions of creativity.