Variations and Fantasy
Instrumentation: Piano Solo
Duration: 12:00 min.
Variations and Fantasy was written to commemorate and celebrate the life of Marta Robertson Smyth. Marta was my visual art teacher and mentor who I studied with for over a decade. She was an important figure of my youth and development as a multimedia artist (this includes music). Marta’s impact on me stretches far beyond the skills I attained in the visual arts. She always made a point of telling me to always strive to find meaningful relationships between my music, my artwork, and my life experiences by applying these relationships to anything I set my mind too. For this reason, my times with Marta were times of self-discovery –unlocking cross-media relationships, personal skills, and levels of artistic expression I never knew I had (skills I will continue to use and refine for the rest of my artistic life). I cannot thank her enough for all of her kindness and support over the many special years we had.
I like to think of Variations and Fantasy as a musical narrative –an emotional journey through my experiences and personalities of Marta which I have sincerely enjoyed while she was around (“the Fantasia element”). The piece is highly thematic based, constructed almost entirely of a single brief four-note motive –which can be thought of as Marta’s Theme.Variants of this motive are spun-out continually and embedded in the composition of each section in some way (“the Variations element”). I included a subtle influence of Flamenco music in this piece -Marta was particularly fond of Flamenco music and would frequently play her collection of Flamenco CD’s as I worked on art projects in her studio.
This composition also goes out to my long-time fellow artists who I worked alongside in Marta’s studio (they started coming for lessons at her studio even before I came, believe it or not!): Bonney Ruhl and Kira Radosevic. Together with their companionship, my memories of Marta and our fruitful experiences we had together at her studio made our time evermore joyful and meaningful. To Bonney and Kira: I hope this piece evokes a comforting sense of familiarity to you two!
Thank you for the journey, Marta
Portrait of Marta Robertson Smyth (2021)
Marta stands beside her clay sculpture of a Minotaur
© 2021, Adam Zolty