2022 Composed with the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and Calgary Arts Development



25 minutes


2 Pianos

Supervillain Duos (2 pianos)

I. R1ddler
II. 2-Face

III. P3nguin

IV. C4twoman
V. Poi5on Ivy
VI. J6ker
VII. Coda – Asy7um

This is a re-composition of my solo piano work Supervillain Études for two pianos, commissioned by and written for Lana Henchell and Akiko Tominaga. This process is one that I have been applying for many years for purposes of developing my musical language: starting my works on a smaller scale and then developing them into larger-scale forms. I model this process off of many great composers of the past, most especially Beethoven – his innovative ideas were first developed in his piano sonatas, then taken into his string quartets, and then fully realized in his symphonies. Taking this approach has helped shape the long-term development of my compositional voice.

The original etudes were inspired by comic book culture – an area that served as a wonderful source of inspiration that opened up many creative possibilities in my piano writing. My general method:

  1. Define six characters inspired by various villains from comic book culture.
  2. Research the psychological profiles of each villain. Being that many of them are placed in an asylum rather than a prison, that suggests they each have distinguishing disorders manifested in criminal form (eg. OCD, narcissism, PTSD, etc).
  3. Provide these profiles to dancer-choreographers and discuss what their physical/gestural languages would be.
  4. Discuss with pianists how each villain’s physical language can be recreated in pianistic form (hence “etudes”: musical compositions designed to develop particular techniques on the given instrument).

My heartfelt thanks to the following people who contributed their thoughts, suggestions, and expertise during the creation of this work: Tracy Eng, Yukichi Hattori (choreographer), Kimberly Cooper (choreographer), Odette Heyn (choreographer), Vicky Chow (pianist), Jenny Lin (pianist), Jamie Parker (pianist), Phil Roberts (pianist).

Contact composer for information on the score: vince@vinceho.com

Listen on Spotify HERE.