A Little Trowie Music(2007)
Boosey & Hawkes
Haden Freeman Concert Hall, Manchester
Hannah Roberts, Thomas Carroll, Guy Johnston, Richard Harwood, Alice Neary & Natalie Clein, cellists
Trowies live in the prehistoric mounds which dot the Orkney landscape: unlike Fairies from further south, these creatures, like their cousins the Norwegian Trolls, tend to be mischievous and of grotesque appearance.
On Sanday, Orkney, my home island, they play their music only at certain times of year, and in particular mounds. Recently, revellers returning home at Hogmanay have been fortunate enough to hear dance music emanating from Girso Wasses, a mound just north of Lady Village.
I welcomed this opportunity to try to recreate the sound of a Trowie dance band emanating from below ground – six cellos seemed to be the ideal combination – though the tune upon which all is based is, sadly, not of supernatural origin: it is my own.
© Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
This programme note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer