Way back when, I let y'all know that Préludes Book I had been written, and that it could totally kick the culo of Études Book I. Especially in a dark alley, after dark. Where there is customarily no gazpacho at hand to save it, and the unicorns are made of soap.
Possibly avoiding a sophomore slump, I have just finished Préludes Book II, and it outspiffifies Études Book II by a comfortable margin. Études II has a bloody lip, and one and a half black eyes (I'm just quoting the feed from the wire services here).
Book I's titles are all palindromes, though none of them are musical palindromes. Book II's titles are all the same — which is going to drive the performance-trackers at BMI totally bonkers. To commemorate such uni-titledness, Beff got me not one, but two t-shirts with which I get to wear that uni-title on my chest — suitable for wearing to performances of the II-ludes.
Also, Préludes II is with the publisher, and is suitable for gifts for Labor Day, Columbus Day, Boxing Day, and anything else that ends with «space»Day or -orengaxl. The edition number is 68329b. Book I was numbered 68329a. I think I know how they do that now.
There is a lot of so-called vernacular in Book II — Mind the Gap and Mind the Gap both use stride, Mind the Gap is sort of funky, and there are some references in Mind the Gap to boogie woogie bass, since that one is based around and is about broken octaves (not fixed ones. Is that a real joke?).
Plus five of the 'ludes have dedicatees: Amy Briggs (I framed the stride from the cadenza of my second piano concerto, written for her), Geoff Burleson (I recycled some music from Mikronomicon, written for him), Sarah Bob (I re-framed some licks from Stolen Moments that she wanted to play), John Mackey (I used a whole bunch of Mackeyesque parallel left-hand open fifths over a burbly right hand) and Augusta Read Thomas (a repeated-note lick I used sounded suspiciously Gustyesque).
As I type this, there are no ideas yet for Book III, save the desire to follow Karl Larson's suggestion that a book of 'ludes all have onomatopoeitic titles — Splash, Buzz, Zonk, etc. If those titles don't immediately conjure up a music, then fill in the blank with the rest of the sentence on your own. Études Book III is pretty bitchin, what with Schnozzage and Fists of Fury both. So, living up to that which is me has been made difficult by me by me. 'Ludes Book III has its work cut out for it.