Snowball Earth (2008-2009) was commissioned by Emil Holmström. The commissioner asked me to reach for extremities both in difficulties and complexity. I didn’t find it interesting to write anything only because it’s difficult, so I took three different elements: harmony, arabesque and repetition. These elements are at first quite independent, but later, after expansion of these elements to three layers, they begin to interact more and more eagerly. The result is very dense and complex texture which uses all registers of the piano almost at the same time. Finally, after about ten terrifying minutes for the pianist, these three elements, still keeping their own features, freeze into one point.
The title ”Snowball Earth” refers to an era of millions of years when the Earth was almost entirely or wholly covered in ice, stretching from the poles to the tropics. This freezing happened over 650 million years ago in the Pre-Cambrian, though there may have been more than one of these global glaciations, which varied both in duration and extent.
The first performance of Snowball Earth was given by Eriko Takahashi in Vienna 2019.