Fantasy on the Eve of an Autumn Equinox
professional | 7 minutes
Fantasy on the Eve of an Autumn Equinox was the first piece I composed since beginning my study with BJ Brooks. One of the first topics covered in composition lessons was the search for and development of my compositional signature. For this assignment, BJ forbade the use of conventional theory and harmonic progression and encouraged me to “invent” my own “rules.”
The piece is cast in the form of a passacaglia with eighteen variations. As the title suggests, the passacaglia is a fantasy, a series of dreams which descend upon the next dream. The concept of descent is manifested in numerous descending figures and the descent from the high register of the piano in the beginning of the piece to the low register at the end.
The fantasy symbolizes the journey of the subconscious mind through a restless sleep. The dreamer wanders from mysterious dreams to dreams of excitement, dreams of tranquility, and nightmares, and in the final bars of the piece, the dreamer awakens.