Quantum Foam

What it is about

An incredibly light piece of fluff that just popped out of nowhere and pootles about at random.

How it was written

A straightforward recipe:

  • Take a simple riff.
  • Tweak it.
  • Play it.
  • Repeat it.
  • Vary as required.


Quantum Foam riff (0:10)
Quantum Foam riff
Quantum Foam riff

Quantum Foam sticks to the recipe.

The first couple of bars contain a simple riff. The third bar plays a tweaked version of the first bar and repeats it in the fourth bar. The fifth and sixth bars repeat the tweaked riff a fifth higher.

A tried and trusted formula.


Quantum Foam mod (0:16)
Quantum Foam mod
Quantum Foam mod

Repetition gets boring after a while. Then it is time to vary the material in some way. One approach is to change key and the piece briefly modulates from A to B then back again to A.

The simplest route from A to B is via a chord that is shared between both keys, a pivot chord, as it is called. Although A and B are distant keys, they do share two pivot chords in common, E major and C#m. The progression, A-E-B, I-V-II, does the job well.

Except the piece takes a different route. It deliberately uses the unusual chord progression, E-Eb-F#, where the contrast between each pair of chords is extremely marked. There is no theoretical justification for this, but so what. If it sounds good, do it!

Tech spec

Title: Quantum Foam

Key: A

Tempo: 140bpm

Length: 3' 50"

Track 1: soprano sax melody

Track 2: bassoon harmony

Track 3: grand piano

Track 4: brass section

Track 5: nylon guitar

Track 6: fingered bass

Track 7: drumset

Genre: Pop, Rock