The Anatomy of Melancholy: Contemporary Piano Music


New music can often be challenging to hear (and of course, play), but, there’s no doubt that we must support Contemporary composers and their various projects in order for our musical culture to fully develop and expand. The Anatomy of Melancholy is one such  example. This piano piece has yet to be heard or recorded,  and has been written by British based composer Marc Yeats  (pictured above). Here, he explains his project with pianist, Ian Pace, in collaboration withSound and Music, a national charity for new music.

I’ve been writing piano music since 1997 and over the years have built up a substantial catalogue of works, many of them hugely ambitious and virtuosic, beyond normal pianistic expectations. I have dedicated many of these pieces to prominent international pianists but across the years, due to a number of factors mainly around the music’s enormous challenges, only a tiny handful of the pieces [often the least frightening and shortest of them] have been performed live and none recorded. I certainly haven’t set out to write piano music that most pianists dread!

Now, for the first time in this wonderful collaboration with Ian Pace I have found a pianist who not only enjoys and can meet these challenges, but actually wants to perform my work because of the very nature of the music itself. Ian Pace is a phenomenal pianist; a man whose musicality and intellect I have admired for many years. I have heard him fearlessly play some of the most challenging music of our time with huge flair, passion, insight and musicality.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this, not least because even I haven’t heard the majority of these pieces yet!

So that’s our story. You can be with us every step of the way as part of this unique journey simply by Pledging.

So why am I doing this, why crowdfunding? Freedom – Freedom to make things happen without going through our normal cultural gatekeepers whose decisions so often result in a ‘no’ to way too many amazing projects – freedom to appeal directly to audiences, fans and engage new people directly in what I’m doing and bring them on the journey with me so we can make things happen together, and of course the freedom to have a viable alternative to deliver projects in the future. Additionally, I’m thrilled I can be a pioneer with this initiative and with the help of Sound and Music share the learning and experience that results with other composers so the whole new-music community can benefit. And last but not least, an opportunity to make my own piano music recording project with Ian Pace happen; now, that’s REALLY exciting!


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.