Composed by SoundEagle🦅, The Last Rag comes in two versions as shown above: the 1996 Original Edition and the 2010 Special Edition.
The Last Rag can be performed or listened to as a self-contained work, though it is also the middle movement of the three-movement Second Piano Sonata entitled “The Time Beyond”.
The Last Rag was first performed by Professor Stephen Emmerson in a music recital at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (formerly the Queensland Conservatorium of Music) in 1996, and was performed by David Pitman who played the Second Piano Sonata “The Time Beyond” on 9 October 1997 at the New Music Collective Concert held in the Recital Hall of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University featuring SoundEagle🦅’s various compositions.
The Second Piano Sonata “The Time Beyond” (to which The Last Rag belongs) was also one of the major pieces featured at David Pitman’s final piano examination required for his Master’s Degree in Performance. The Last Rag was played by Professor Stephen Emmerson and recorded in the Orchestral Hall at Queensland Conservatorium by Daniel Fournier who, along with Peter Laughton, mastered all the edited tracks onto the CD entitled “The Rag Project” and released in 1998. More than a decade later, it had been fondly studied and played by Connie Stamatopoulou in 2009 and 2010.
The Last Rag had also been featured at least once on radio (in the vicinity of 2000 as the precise date is beyond recall) in one of the programmes hosted by Julian Day, an artist, composer and broadcaster who used to present the long-running experimental music programme called “New Music Up Late” as well as “Classic Breakfast and Afternoons” on ABC Classic FM.
The 2010 Special Edition of The Last Rag continues the salient features of the 1996 Original Edition further, including melodic angularity and atonality, contrapuntal textures, motivic extensions, thematic superpositions, harmonic piquancy, chromaticism, suspended tones, nuanced sonorities and dynamic expressiveness. Due to full-time filial commitments, both the score and the recording of the 2010 Special Edition are only just published by SoundEagle🦅 here in 2020.
Regardless of the degree to which the resulting composition may be regarded as an appropriation, reimagination or reinterpretation of classic Ragtime, The Last Rag has patently honoured the well-established tradition and true spirit of Ragtime in the process of sticking fairly closely to, whilst also deviating inventively from, the musical form of Ragtime. As the accompanying poem indicates, apart from conveying certain personal and philosophical messages, The Last Rag also serves as a meta-commentary or meta-narrative to Ragtime as a century-old genre, evoking nostalgia and contemplation, as well as simultaneously reflecting, acknowledging and transcending the eras and heritages of Ragtime and related genres. Overall, SoundEagle🦅 has sought greater freedom, unity, sophistication and expressiveness in The Last Rag to reach beyond the stereotype and confined scope of this unique genre whilst exploring innovative techniques to decisively push the envelope of the Ragtime vernacular and its vocabularies.
Those who have performed, orchestrated or analysed The Last Rag to a high standard are welcome to contact SoundEagle🦅 for the possibility of their work being featured.
Presented below is a list of the major components created and assembled by for this multimedia post. Clicking any of the listed items below will initiate an instantaneous jump to the corresponding section in 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶.