for piano trio
©2000 Centaur Records, Inc.
Matthew Kube-McDowell, the teenage son of two of my oldest and closest friends, uttered the phrase "spiky epiphanies" during a visit in the summer of 2000. I didn't think to inquire if he coined it himself or if he was quoting someone else, but I immediately filed it away mentally as a title for a composition.
In this piece I have attempted to capture the rapturous quality that "epiphanies" conjures up for me, with a liberal dose of edginess to provide the "spiky" part. The first idea is a jumpy set of chords in the two stringed instruments, chords that will return frequently in various guises. These chords are the first part of a slow introduction, with several contrasting moods, which then gives way to an extended fast section. Midway during this section, the piano plays a chorale over repeated patterns in the strings. Most of the remainder of the piece combines this chorale idea with material from earlier in the piece.