My new piece Where to from here? for solo violin will be premiered by Emma Baird at the Royal Academy of Music as part of their 200 Pieces project on 11 November, Angela Burgess Recital Hall.
Here is my programme note:
“Where to from here? is a musical exploration of the twists and turns that often feature in an intense, reflective train of thought. The piece begins with a simple melodic sigh. Very quickly the mood swings from one of melancholy to agitation, touching on hesitation and doubt, before shifting abruptly to emphatic determination. The impetus for this piece was something that Emma Baird mentioned in our correspondence early in the creative process. She noted that she enjoys “a mixture of…softer, intimate mood contrasted with fast, energetic, and rhythmic sections”. So the principle of contrast was one that underpinned the design of form and material.”
I found the experience of writing this piece really pushed me creatively to explore dimensions, material, gestures, and formal approaches that weren’t immediately instinctive for me. For instance, it would have felt more natural for me to write a piece that expanded on a single atmosphere, and also to foreground texture and colouristic effects. But I’ve always held the view that as an artist I am continually learning and expanding my technique and aesthetic. Things that may have felt new or unfamiliar for me in this piece, will very likely emerge as what I consider my ‘instinct’ in a future piece.