George Flynn's liner notes state that "Derus Simples" was commissioned by the philosopher Kenneth Derus to celebrate the centenary of composer Kaikhosru Sorabji. The music was written by Flynn and reflects Derus' ideas in interpreting Sorabji. The concept is that the listener appreciate melodies, not notes, as basic elements or "simples." The 'simples' composition is a "continuous work whose gestures shape and character result from expansions of simple sounds or ideas into complexities that frequently revert back to their simple origins." Kenneth Derus writes that "the simples of a rich moment are rich (or Derus) simples. A rich simple is a qualification of its object. The qualification of this changing to that has this-changing-to-that-ness as a quality. Some qualities can only be qualities of parts of rich memories (i.e., getting-redder-ness). Some relations can only relate parts of rich memories (e.g., getting getting-redder-ness-er than)."
"Derus Simples' is not improvised music at all. It does not play to your emotions. It does not swing, it does not jive. It is intellectual and abstract. It is highly structured composition exploring a span of separate but linked ideas. The music reflects the album cover that depicts a distant galaxy.
This piece rightly belongs to a strand of 20th century music whose roots go back to Arnold Schoenberg. The music can be beautiful and lyrical, but also at times dissonantly percussive. It is precisely well played. If you are expecting the sounds and rhythms of Art Tatum or Bud Powell or Bill Evans, you may be alarmed and put off by this 'difficult' music. If you are game for something different to explore, this might open a whole new universe of music for you.