I've been working on improving the computer generated sound file of this piece, correcting a couple of typos in the score I spotted and equalizing the sound. It's still merely computerised but I hope it's a slight improvement.
To save anyone scrolling up and down, I'll reiterate what I said before about the piece, with a few added thoughts:
The first movement is a rondo - a musical term for a multi-storey sandwich in which a tune acts as the slices of bread, in between which various different fillings are spread. Another way of describing it would be, using letters for musical passages, ABACA...etc. One could also think of it as a chaconne - roughly speaking, a classical term for a piece based on a repeating riff.
The third movement is dedicated to the memory of the poet, Barry MacSweeney. The Northumbrian smallpipe tune, Too Few Coals, Too Little Money figures prominently. At first its appearance is conventional. However, as the piece progresses, the performers play wild, atonal melodic lines against it until, at last, the tune vanishes altogether. A second tune, often treated canonically, is based on a fragment of the clarinet melody heard at the end of the first movement.
While I was composing the piece I came very much to associate the first movement with the spirit, the second with the mind and the third with the body. The first, I think, strives to transcend itself, the second is more ruminative and the third, as befits the body is more dancelike (the incorporated melody, too, alludes to the body and what it needs). That's just the way I see it.
6 months ago