Variations & Fantasies on an Accordion Song

Robert Paterson

About this work:
In 1994–95 I wrote the soundtrack for the documentary Journey Into Courage. This piece is a set of variations and fantasies on a theme in the “Accordion Song” played by Jenny and her husband in the documentary. I’ve been told by Jenny’s husband that this tune is an old, traditional song called John Tallis’s Canon. I wrote this piece for inclusion on a recording of the Journey Into Courage film score and another piece I wrote called Sun Trio. I also wanted to see how I could manipulate an extremely tonal theme through a “theme and variations” form. Originally, the piece was going to consist entirely of a theme and a few variations. However, when writing it, my mind wandered into uncharted territory. By the time I was done with some of the stylistically eclectic variations, they didn’t sound at all like the theme and were only vaguely related to it. This is how some of the variations had a mid-life crisis and became fantasies. Many of the variations were inspired by Michael Arnowitt's love of jazz.
Year composed: 1995
Duration: 00:08:30
Ensemble type: Keyboard:Piano
Instrumentation: 1 Piano

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