The title of Passage: music for solo harp borrows its name from the first piece on the CD – Passage. Written in 2005, this was my first full length composition and the first time I really felt I could be a composer.
I had of course messed around a little bit – the musical that I’m working on right now has its origins several years before I wrote Passage. And Medley of the Bells from the CD I recorded with my brother, Christmas Time – Harp and Marimba, might perhaps be considered a composition rather than an arrangement. But Passage definitely marks a big transition for me. It came pretty easily, too. Can’t remember exactly, but I think it took a month or two to write.
It started with, and grew from, the opening phrase:
with a pedal setting of the key of Db plus a B natural. I found this sound intriguing and I explored where it led me, continuing to return to:
Towards the end of the piece I finally change it up a bit, and throw an Fb into the mix:
And the ending came as a surprise – a very nice one! I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed, but then had this glorious change into a full Db major appear, and knew that was what I wanted:
So I’m very fond of Passage, and I think it’s a great way to start the album!
If you’d like more on Passage, I did a two-part Harp Tuesday episode on it: