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Three Episodes for Piano


A cinematic trilogy in musical form.

Written in 2014; revised in 2018. A three-movement sonatina whose movements, titled "Pilot", "Sequel", and "Finale", are structurally similar to the episodes of a TV series. Each episode has an A plot and a B plot, and the sections are clearly delineated with pauses, to evoke the transitions between scenes in film. Pay attention to the musical motifs in the first two episodes, because near the end of Finale there's a credits, where you'll hear each of those themes again in turn. See if you can recognize them!


  • This piece is a piano adaptation of a string quartet that I wrote in 2013, called "Four Episodes for String Quartet". I wrote the first movement of this quartet, what became Pilot in the piano version, during a two-week period when I was bedridden after surgery.
  • Some of the oldest surviving musical themes of mine, written when I was five years old, are found in Sequel from 4:09 to 4:20. The continuation of this section, and the reprise at 7:10, is from a few years later (age nine).
  • In its original improvised form, the theme at 5:28 was not in 5/4 but 12/8, in a kind of swing rhythm - each bar was a dotted quarter note followed by eighth notes.
  • The two bars in 9/4 at 6:21 are the only bars I've ever written in the Locrian mode.
  • In the section beginning at 6:42, I use both of the whole-tone scales, alternating between them every half bar. The descent at 7:04 is also entirely in the second of those whole-tone scales.
  • The final movement, Finale, is also a reimagining of a much older work of mine. I expand on this on my blog here.
  • The two chords at the end of Finale are a nod to Beethoven's 32 variations, a piece I used to perform way back in the day.