Over the course of his career, Small's contemplative nature has drawn him to music that seeks a spiritual quietude that approaches silence. His ongoing series of compositions, performances and recordings, "Journeys in Silence", reflects this interest. Small regularly tours the United States, Europe and Japan, programming his own compositions as well as works by other composers that share this aesthetic, performing in monasteries, churches and galleries as well as more conventional concert venues.
Journeys in Silence in 2016-2017
In the 2016-2017 season, Haskell Small will perform his composition The Rothko Room: Journeys in Silence at the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre, in Daugavpils, Latvia on the 103rd anniversary of the artist's birth in that city. Small has scheduled other Journeys in Silence programs in England and Belgium. Other tour dates will be announced as details are confirmed.
Journeys in Silence in 2015-2016
In the 2015-2016 season, Small performed the New York premieres of his own A Journey in Silence: Reflections on the Book of Hours and John Tavener’s Pratirūpa at St. Malachy’s – The Actors’ Chapel. In a second New York performance, Mr. Small's recital was presented by “TheCrypt Sessions”. A recital tour in Japan was another highlight of the season.
In Spring 2014, Small performed his own composition, "The Rothko Room: Journeys in Silence", as well as several of Alan Hovhaness’ majestic works inspired by the spiritual power of mountains, in venues across the United States, including the Rothko Chapel in Houston.
“The Rothko Room” is in one continuous movement, and falls into four distinct parts, paralleling the four paintings in the Phillips Collection's Rothko Room while offering a musical narrative of the painter's tumultuous life.
In 2013, Haskell Small toured the United States and Japan with a program featuring his performances of Federico Mompou's 28-part magnum opus for solo piano, "Musica Callada".
The title loosely translates to "Silent Music", and this spare and intense work is inwardly searching, prayerful, searing, and at times explosive. There is remarkable drama in this stark setting, and the piece proceeds through its four books with an increasingly mystical tone, arriving at peace in the final pages. With a strong Catalan flavor, and sometimes with an almost childlike naiveté, this is a fantastic voyage, and a work of extraordinary beauty.
"Small had clearly internalized the work and brought it off with exceptional gravity and focus. Each movement had a life and character of its own -- from Satie-like translucence to almost frightening desolation -- while connecting to the others with natural grace. High marks to Small on courage alone, even higher for a riveting performance."