Sky Blue

The Meeting House, University of Sussex, 5th Jun 2014

Genre: Soloist(s) and orchestra

Sky Blue was written in Spring 2014 especially for Alison Hughes (clarinet) and the University of Sussex Symphony Orchestra. It is inspired by a painting made in 1940 by Wassily Kandinsky in which figures appear to float free across a clear blue sky. The painting has been described (by Mona Molarsky, 2009) as ‘an ethereal, Miró-like confection with biomorphic squiggles that buzz like glimmering insects in the afternoon sun’. The music is a continuous single movement with moments of great harmonic transparency contrasting with sections of greater modal complexity. There are some sections which also feature soloists in the orchestra, perhaps like the free-floating figures in Kandinsky’s painting.