Chamber Ensemble and Fixed Media
Composer: Brian Sears
Stairway Fragments was born out of my need to compartmentalize and cope with the death of my Grandfather in January of the year. However this piece should not be thought of a memorial, but instead as a collection of vignettes that encapsulate the emotions and experiences of a group as they come to terms with the illness and eventual loss of an integral part of their family. Moments of grief and desolation are interspersed with shimmering activity representing the recolation of shared memories. Midway through the piece, the texture transforms as the instruments begin to mimic the electronics, representing the transformative aspect that death can bring to all who are touched by it. The pitch material, and referential gestures are sourced from the opening section of “Stairway to Heaven” by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. For me this song is a clear representation of my childhood, and listening to my father pick out these notes is one of my first musical memories.