Triplet Fantasy

Released on August 29, 2020

for piano


In classical music, a “fantasy” is an inventive, free-form composition with roots in improvisation. A “triplet” is a rhythmic form in that divides a beat into thirds.

The Triplet Fantasy is definitely filled with triplets! These drive the music forward, usually at a break-neck pace, but with an occasional pause for breath. I've tried to make the notes flow naturally while constantly taking them in unexpected directions.

There's a lot going on in this work; to catch it all, you may have to hear it more than once. I'll give you a rough sketch of the piece to give you a head start.

The piece begins with a minimalist motif: a phrase is repeated three times, each time only slightly altered. You will hear other passages like this, but bridged by more complex patterns and harmonic shifts. The notes flow up and down, sometimes diatonically, sometimes chromatically. The piece speeds up and slows down, but the triplets provide a constant forward motion.

After a long chromatic descent and a sequence of repeated notes, the music switches abruptly to…jazz. It slows down, keeping the triplets, but making them syncopated. The measures themselves cycle from 2/4 to 4/4 and back.

The slow jazz theme is followed by another jazz theme in the original tempo. While the transition into jazz is immediate, you will need to pay close attention to find where the music shifts away from jazz. The piece returns with some minimalist phrases that then segue into an almost-classical theme.

A third set of repeated notes signal the start of the finale. Like the rest of the piece, the path to the final note is not straight-forward. The finale has a lighter feel than the introduction, but you will hear some of harmonic shifts that characterize the start.

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