Spiral Staircase (2016)

Horn and marimba. Five movements, 22'.

​Dedicated to Mai Tadokoro Hessel


Spiral Staircase (2016) was written for and premiered at our wedding reception ceremony in Osaka, Japan in 2016. The title, though initially chosen to represent the horn as a spiral and the marimba as a staircase, takes on a symbolic meaning across the five movements of the piece. The first movement sets a playful and optimistic tone that gradually spirals downward through the lyrical, leisurely second movement and the darker, aggressive third movement until settling into the somber basement of the fourth movement. The fifth movement, ever moving forward, recalls aspects of all the previous movements as is climbs upwards again to a triumphant resolution.


Performance History:

  • 18 June 2016, Oseiryu, Osaka, Japan. Spiral Staircase Duo: Eric Hessel, horn; Mai Tadokoro Hessel, marimba
  • 19 June 2016, Nara Evangelical Church, Nara, Japan. Spiral Staircase Duo
  • 15 October 2016, UNT Voertman Hall, Denton, TX. Spiral Staircase Duo
  • recorded 18 February 2017, Texas Wesleyan University Martin Hall, Fort Worth, TX. Spiral Staircase Duo
  • 21 February 2017, Texas Wesleyan University Martin Hall, Fort Worth, TX. Spiral Staircase Duo

ERIC HESSEL