Phlegethon

This article is part 32 of 38 in the 2022 music project series.

Since I've been playing the piano a lot lately, I figured my hands were in decent shape so I should just keep it going. This is a piece I wrote some time ago that's basically a bunch of loud right-hand arpeggios. And since last week my left hand got a workout it's only fitting that my right hand gets one too. Don't read too much into it…

Phlegethon is one of the five infernal rivers (the most famous of which is Styx). Apparently it translates to "flaming" from Greek.

The third river issues forth midway between these two, and close to its point of exit it emerges into a vast region burning with a lot of fire, and it makes a lake of boiling water and mud larger than the sea in our region. It proceeds in a circle from there, foul and muddy, winding about through the earth in various places and arrives at the shores of the Acherusian lake without commingling with its waters. After many windings under the earth, it discharges beneath Tartarus and this is the river they refer to as Periphlegethon, and from this the lava streams shoot forth their branches from the earth in a random manner.1

Plato was pretty metal.


This could've been better, but my technique isn't that great so my arm gets tired after playing it. I did seven takes over the course of ~10 minutes, three of which I actually played the whole thing to completion, and chose the best of those. The main problem is that the second-to-last bar is by far the most difficult, so I would get more nervous as the piece went on.

Performance of my original piece Phlegethon (recorded on )
phlegethon-transcription-sample.png (image/png, 826x599, 22,314 bytes)
And then more of this for 90 seconds.

Downloads


  1. Taken from this translation, location 113b