Programme Note

My Passacaglia explores the use of familiar harmonies in unfamiliar contexts. The piece consists of a loose set of variations on a series of eight chords, four of which are major triads. These four chords relate to each other in unusual ways, and are combined with four more dissonant chords; this leads to a sense of simultaneously being in a key and not being in a key – an ambiguity which is characteristic of much of my more recent music. Passacaglia was originally composed in 2007 when I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree, and was then substantially revised in 2021.

Year: 2007
Duration: 6′
Instrumentation: Piano


28th May 2007
Simon Smith
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge