Celestial Passage
for violin, viola and piano
             Repeating and driving rhythms intrigue Eric D. Sharp as do minimalist composers, especially John Adams.  At the time Eric D. Sharp wrote Celestial Passage, he was studying the score of Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams.  His rich use of harmony in a minimalist environment inspired Celestial Passage.
    A surprisingly dissonant second inversion A major seventh chord begins the fast, driving and highly rhythmic Celestial Passage.  This is a fast, driving piece that incorporates repeating notes and irregular and shifting accents.  This creates a sound world one can imagine speeding through space through a wormhole.  The driving pulse is provided by the piano while the violin and bassoon accentuate the pulsating rhythm.  The violin speeds up with quarter and eighth note triplets against the duple eighth notes of the piano part.  When the violin finally stops only the piano remains playing.  A chromatically changing duet between the violin and the bassoon begins a new section of the piece, while the piano provides chordal accompaniment.  Toward the climax of the piece, the three instruments alternately accelerate and slow in tempo two times.  This pattern is repeated each time the chord increasingly becomes more dissonant.  The climax resolves with a release to the repeating eighth note pulse played by the piano with the violin and bassoon playing half and whole notes.
Duration:  4 Minutes
Number of measures:  143
Number of pages (Score):  16

Performance History

This piece was premiered on a CSULB Composers' Guild Concert on October 30, 1996 at the Daniel Recital Hall in Long Beach, CA.

Violin - Sandra Kyung
Bassoon - Chien-hui Liu
Piano - Mark Uranker

This piece was also performed on a CSULB Composers' Guild Concert on April 9, 1997 at the Daniel Recital Hall in Long Beach, CA.

Violin - Cary Belling
Bassoon - Charles Fernandez
Piano - Paul Floyd

Measure Score

If you are interested in purchasing this piece please email me at:


Back to the
Works List *