• Stuart Greenbaum
  • 800 Million Heartbeats (2007)
    (for piano trio)

  • Wise Music G. Schirmer Australia Pty Ltd (World)
  • pf/vn.vc
  • 8 min

Programme Note


Many living creatures lives apparently last for around 800 million heartbeats. Birds like the hummingbird have a very rapid wing motion - so fast that it becomes a blur. It also has a corresponding fast heart rate and lives a shorter (and arguably more intense) life. By contrast, the sloth has a very slow heart rate, is given to much sleep and has a relatively long life. If humans had only 800 million heartbeats in a life, we would die young (probably in our twenties). But the actual figure is only nominal. It becomes a heightened metaphor for life, measured in heartbeats, and the journey that fill its course. This piece was originally composed in 2000 for the Southbank Contemporary Music Ensemble, then as a quintet for Brisbane quintet, Topology, and this adaptation was made especially for the Yarra Trio to premiere in 2008.



Stuart Greenbaum 800 Million Heartbeats