Pieces composed in the first semestre of my first year in conservatory, composition. I renamed the titles from my native language to english although sheet remains in the original.
Sort of a compositional study I engaged every piece differently:
In a rush is based on pentatonic scale made from my date of birth by going whole tones so in C this would be C-D-E-F#-A# 1-2-9-4-6 (numbers from my date). It's almost like a whole tone scale but at least this kind of logic made my mind at ease that it's not just some "out of stomach with closed eyes" composition.
Madman's Lullaby experimenting in polytonality but maintaining a very simple chord progression. This piece was played at a concert that year and people actually enjoy it to play and listen to which surprised me a lot.
Tarantriola Melody composed mostly of augmented fifths. Not a strict rule in the piece but I wanted to see I can do with it when I limit myself to have that interval dominant throughout the piece.
Lonely Waltz here I was "ok you thinking too much, experimenting with yourself is nice but try to be natural now and just compose a simple piece with a nice tonal melody".
If you guys have some ideas of challenging yourself share them please so I can find new interesting possibilites.
Now I'm getting expressive in my pieces! This piano composition is a nocturne. It tells the story of me as a boy having a bad day, and during the evening I went outside to contemplate. When I looked at the stars above me, they seemed to coax and calm me like a mother would to her child. It fills me with peace. That's the inspiration behind the piece. Time to hear what the listeners have to say about this!
F# minor is always kind of a lamenting-type key... A major is my favorite, so it's like the underbelly of happiness to me.
Lament, nostalgia, reminiscence, etc. Those types of words will work.
To answer your second question, it admittedly does kind of bother me that it follows the chord progression over and over... maybe you can avoid this by putting some voices in canon with each other? It wouldn't normally on its own, but I think the fact that this piece is clearly laid out into different sections makes it more apparent.