Performed by Sascha Groschang (cello)

Perusal scores are downloadable and viewable but not printable.

Instrumentation: Solo cello

Duration: ca. 9 minutes 30 seconds

Year composed: 2023

Place composed: Kansas City, Missouri

Dedication: Composed for Sascha Groschang

Program Notes:
A shapeshifter is a creature (human or otherwise) that can change its appearance at will.

A theme and variations is a musical piece in which a melody goes through a successive series of transformations.

My piece Shapeshifter is a theme and variations of sorts; there is a primary melody that goes through transformations. But within the variations and the theme itself there are quick changes of appearance — octave jumps, sudden dynamic changes, sudden changes from one playing technique to another. The four variations following the theme are marked “underwater,” “nervously,” “alluringly,” and “punk rock.”

Shapeshifter draws inspiration from sources as varied as Koji Kondo’s score for the 1990 Super Nintendo game “Super Mario World,” my own composition TheSpaceBetween, Sergei Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, and the maximalist pop-jazz fusion band The Dirty Loops.

Shapeshifter was composed for Sascha Groschang, who premiered the piece on April 29 and 30, 2023 at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, MO.