Here’s what I wish everyone playing my music knows already. Well, first I hope that someone wants to play my music! Today I am writing some of it down for you, and writing it down drives me a bit batty, so here’s what I hope you know, on that magical day in the not too distant future when you open up your Kathleen Ryan sheet music:

I have no idea how fast or slow you are to play these pieces, so please don’t expect to see a metronome mark! Yes, I’ve managed to put them into many of the pieces I’ve already published; but it was with much grumbling each time. I don’t even play them at the same tempo each time. I place a MM= some number or other on the score, and the next day when I try it out, that number seems completely wrong. Bah! I will not be placing numbers into my score anymore. It’s not about the numbers.

I will give you tempo notation, but it will most likely always be feeling–based. All my music has to do with feelings! Deep feelings, often, I hope, but still feelings. Today I can play the opening of Water in a Dry Land at one tempo, and it is free and a bit dark and wonderful; tomorrow who knows?! But it will be whatever speed is free, a bit dark, and wonderful. What counts is the free, dark, wonderful quality; not the speed.

I assume you know how to bring out the melody. I’ll do my very best to make that melody obvious on the page, so you can do your magic.

I assume you like to use the pedal, and will use it to create a lovely legato; and I’ll only put actual pedal markings on the page when I’m doing something very specific and possibly a bit unusual. My friend Lee thinks I don’t use much pedal. Hah! Fooled him. I’m pedalling nearly constantly. I also half–pedal a lot, by the way. Try it — it’s fun!

Okay, end rant. I like getting my music out, but this metronome thing in particular just really gets me going — faster and faster and faster. Alas.

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