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"Triple Jump" was inspired by the athletic quality that I found very striking in Makoto Nakura’s playing. The physicality of his jumping around the instrument with lightning-quick speed as well as artistic grace looked to me like an Olympic event. Thus, the three movements of this work are titled after the three traditional stages of the triple jump: hop, skip, and jump. However, I stray from the track meet analogy by taking these words out of context and considering their alternate meanings.
The first movement, “Hop” depicts through polyrhythms the endearing awkwardness of a small child or animal at play. “Skip” refers to the skipping of a rock on still water, with tremolos and chordal resonance suggesting the concentric rippling of the water. Finally, “Jump” is a single gesture of pure physical exuberance that sprints to the finish. Hidden within is a brief nod to the Van Halen classic anthem of the same title.
As I mentioned, the whole work was written with Makoto’s unique abilities in mind, and is fondly dedicated to him with gratitude for his tireless support of new music. —Kenji Bunch
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