Composed: 2003 Duration: 2 mins.
Instrumentation: Clarinet & Piano Level C
Exam Grade: HSC Clarinet
ISMN: 979-0-720083-17-9 Catalogue: RM469
Level: C Country: Australia
Contents: Shuffle Over Here, We Don't Tango Here, The Minor Issue, The Boogie Woogie Woogie, Funkability, Be Bopaphobia
The term “variations” in this work is used somewhat loosely and does not conform to the strict connotation of the classical “Theme and Variations” form. Rather, it is used in the sense that the presented themes are decorated and varied over a repeated ground bass in much the same way as in a Chaconne. Material for this work was drawn from an earlier work Phospherics. This title came from a series of word associations:
Phosphorous: phosphorescent, luminous, green, nature. Spherics: spherical, circular, cyclical, cycles.
Versions of phosphoric Variations were originally composed for alto saxophone and piano, then later for clarinet and piano and flute and piano.
Contents: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces
As a note of curiosity, the opening theme of the piece was composed on the evening of September 11th Eastern Standard Time (EST) of that year at the exact moments that the World Trade Centre in New York was being attacked. The composer had no idea of the events on the other side of the world at the time of writing and the musical content is not related to these events. However, the title, Echoes of Another Age is an acknowledgment of the change in awareness these events created of how we now live and perceive our world.
The habanera, as a genre, originated in Cuba during the 19th century. It evolved from the contradansa, which arrived in Cuba from France via refugees fleeing the Haitian revolution. By the 20th the habanera had become a musical relic in Cuba, but after travelling back across the sea with sailors, it became so popular in European salons that composers as illustrious as Ravel (Piece en Forme De Habanera) and Georges Bizet (Carmen) had composed tunes using its characteristic rhythm and exotic flavour.
Martin Kay’s Habanera employs the tradition very freely.