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perc(1):t.bells/steel pans/lg thundersheet-strings
City Hall, Glasgow
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Joseph Swensen
This work came about through a collaborative experiment with the sculptress Sue Jane Taylor. It is a pensive and reflective work for strings and percussion lasting about fifteen minutes, and is mostly slow and static. It is built around a few recurrent melodic motives which revolve n a cyclic and episodic structure. Sometimes the material is very simple, like a single tolling metallic sound accompanied by slowly shifting chords, or a fragmented and hesitant solo violin or viola accompanied by patiently evolving clusters and chords. Sometimes, the material is more assertive involving trills, tremolandi and glissandi and low heavy chords with primally simple percussive ideas.
The whole is intended to give an impression of the island of Iona where St. Columba lived, and died in 597. It is a place of stark and desolate beauty, a focus of deep spiritual resonance and historical significance.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer
"Lamenting violins; eruptive, angular drumming; shivering bells: here was a piece with a strong if mysterious sense of place."