Instrumentation: variable, 4 players
Commissioned by the Santiago Players
Program notes: The passacaglia is a baroque variation in which a theme (typically in the bass) repeats continuously as the texture above it evolves. This passacaglia takes the bass line from a 1976 Stevie Wonder (born Steveland Hardaway Morris) track, “All Day Sucker.” A second, more familiar Wonder motif, the instrumental break from “Signed Sealed Delivered” (1970), appears near the end of the piece. I became interested in these themes after discovering Wonder’s own unique engagement with the form in “They Won’t Go When I Go” (1974), a track that subtly reworks the well-known theme from Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.