Light Cuts Through Dark Skies

Length: 12'

Hear a sample:

Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 2nd Jun 2015
Denis Arnold Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, 7th Mar 2012
Institut für Neue Musik der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, 9th May 2012
Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin, Germany, 2nd Nov 2008
, 7th Apr 2016

rhythmic, reflective, reconciliation, polyphonic, lyrical, conflict

Publisher: UYMP; ISMN: ISMN M 57020 665 0

Genre: Works for 2-6 players

Programme Note:

Instrumentation: fl, cl, vn, vc, pno.

In 2001 I was commissioned by the Bath International Music Festival to create a new accompaniment to Joris Ivens’s 1929 silent film of Amsterdam, Regen (Rain). The music was performed by the UK ensemble the New Music Players in a concert which also included Eisler’s Vierzehn Arten den Regen zu beschreiben. The two scores were performed to two successive screenings of the film. My own composition uses repeating patterns and polyphonic techniques. It aims to give a fresh musical reading of the intricate visual patterns and subtle shifts in light and perspectives offered by the film. Depending on the speed of performance, and projection speed, short pauses can occur between the sections in the music, opening up silence as a productive tension in the counterpoint between music and moving images.

A short article on my composition process ('New technologies and old rites') can be found in Robynn Stilwell & Phil Powrie (ed.s) ‘Composing for the Screen in Germany and the USSR’ (Indiana University Press, 2008), pp 93-105.