LYS: Theme and Variations for Piano, Flute and 'Cello
by Ron Hannah


Duration: about 8 minutes

    This work has a unique genesis. I became very attached, even though we knew each other only through email, to a lady who lived some distance away. "Attached" is an understatement. I still cannot believe how passionately involved one can become through the medium of print. We have met in person several times over the years, and the relationship has grown from just passion to a deeper, more spiritual friendship, again something I didn't fully know was possible. Nancee challenged my every belief and started me thinking in whole new directions. I call her "My Angel", and she rescued me at a very low point in my life...

     LYS: Theme and Variations is based on what Nancee has told me about herself. It starts out playfully, like a child skipping, with childlike melodies and suggestions of a Strauss waltz that she loves. Then abruptly it becomes dark and forceful as she recalls a dim and traumatic event that happened when she was very young - something that has affected and darkened her life ever since, even though the details are unclear. When this plays out, all that is left is to rise above the confusion of that dreadful event or to succumb to its awfulness. She did the former and the glorious woman that resulted is the subject of the last few variations and the full flowering of the waltz. "LYS" is her personal acronym for "Let Yourself Shine". It is also, she tells me, the Danish word for "light".

     In May of 2002, the piece was given a private reading at the University of Victoria, sponsored by the Canadian Music Centre,


to whom I am deeply grateful, for it revealed a piece of enormous richness and power, if I may say so. The disk of that original recording received a scratch however, and was partly ruined. I managed to patch the file fairly convincingly using Logic Pro, (you will hear the patch between 55" and 1'12" if you click on the "Hear LYS" button). The work was premièred publicly at last in 2014. Please click on this link for details. In the same year I had a professional recording made in hopes one day of releasing a CD of my chamber music. Stay tuned. The whole is in my own style of dissonant, wide-ranging tonality, and it really works! How could it not, with such an inspiration?

     You may download a sample score by clicking on the button at left, and the parts may be obtained from the Canadian Music Centre, or by sending me an email, below. I ask (and I ask, and I ask) only that you inform me of any performances so that I can keep this website up-to-date. Few do.