By the same authors

Postcards (previously titled 'Short Stories'): for String Orchestra

Research output: Non-textual formComposition

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Publication details

DatePublished - 2013
Media of outputScore
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherFaber Music Ltd.
Size17 minutes
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Originally described as ‘postcards’, these pieces were written for the Scottish Ensemble’s 2012-13 season, with one included in each of their UK tours. Although the musical idea underlying each piece might fit on the back of a postcard, the result is a little more substantial than such a title suggests –hence ‘short story’. They can be performed individually or as a complete set.


I – Chimes at Midnight

A series of bells. From within the resonance, echoes of a dance emerge, and a high violin sings.


II – Mr Jonathan Morton, His Ground

Where the violin leads, the others follow, eventually arriving at rich, gleaming microtonal chords covering all registers. Throughout the whole piece a simple melodic phrase loops over and again.


III – Touch

A toccata of scurrying semiquavers in which the players join, separate, and recombine in ever-changing groupings to create a many-voiced polyphony. The journey repeats – though with each iteration it is squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces, until eventually it is barely there at all.


IV – In Memoriam

Stepping out into what seemed to be the first day of Spring: barely a breeze, and the sunlight warm against my face. A sequence of microtonal harmonies gradually transform into singing cello lines backed by fragments of dance and birdsong.

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