Spiral Staircase

A Journey Inwards

FORCES

Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Flute, Clarinet in B flat, Oboe, Bassoon

ABOUT

 

An autobiographical atonal work using a technique derived from serialism in which the viola starts a riot. I was once a player of that instrument, back in the days I was writing romantic music for my friends to play, when we were at school together.

I used a set of musical objects which repeated in a Webernian kind of passacaglia; into this set I periodically inserted a new object, lengthening the set and displacing the existing material outwards; an idea I derived form fractal design, giving the effect of moving inside the existing material (Hence A Journey Inwards). But the viola is fed up with all this and wants to express something more tangible and emotive. It starts disrupting all the rigour and drags the other instruments along with it - and all hell breaks loose. There's a sudden pause, after which the other instruments 'jump' on the viola in retribution.

Given my own journey - from what I loved writing when I was a teen, through obligatory atonal modernism and finally feeling my way back to the world I left behind long ago - the message in this music should be obvious. However, the title also has another meaning: about finding yourself. It took a conversation with professor Keith Potter at Goldsmiths' College a few years later to give me the confidence to take this journey inwards and find myself once more.

I'd love to hear from you.

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