These were inspired by a visit to the Beyeler Museum in Basel when there was a special Rothko exhibition. On the same day I heard some children play some simple duets of mine and thought these “Rothko Pictures” would be for the same age group—but they turned out to be a bit harder!

I thought that using fists and palms and arms on the keyboard would be appropriate to ask children to do, which is no doubt true but there were rhythmic problems with these pieces, which made them rather too difficult for beginners.

Finally I decided to rewrite them for large orchestra—see Rothko Variations.