Snowball Earth

by Ari Romppanen

for piano

Empty sheet

Ari Romppanen

Snowball Earth

Music Finland


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.




Works for Solo Instrument


Eriko Takahashi, piano, February 15, 2019, Vienna

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by Emil Holmström.

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