Sabin's Magic Mobile

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My nephew Sabin.

My nephew Sabin Eko Zuriel Barber was born September 20, 2009. This piece is dedicated to him and his parents, David (my brother) and Dana. I wanted to write a piece that he might like when he's old enough to know what music is. I also wanted to write something that evinced a bit of the sentiment with which I regard childhood (maybe my own childhood): the “magic mobile” of the title is just a fanciful description of a baby's first (and therefore most magical) mobile, with all its special moving colorful patterns.

In the “Quick” movements I “try out” a musical pattern in every way I can think to, as a toddler might with a row of blocks or a necklace. The middle movement “Crawl” consists of a series of phrases, each an expansion of the last, as though each phrase demonstrated an incremental increase in skill and courage – here the word “mobile” takes its second meaning. I have also decided to set the piece in a musical system where an interval other than the traditional octave is held to be “equivalent” (in this case the perfect 12th) – I thought this might be a metaphor for the way music might sound before one learns to hear octaves as the same pitch.

I offer this little piece to Sabin, that he might do creative things with his life.