Symphonic Movement

Instrumentation: Orchestra (picc.2.2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn – – timp(+tam-t).perc(2):xly/cyms/susp.cym/SD/BD – strings)

Duration: c. 8mins

Completed: 2018


A dark and difficult work which dominated the last year and a half of my bachelor’s at RCS and one which went through more versions than any other work I’ve written to this point. The original draft is unrecognisable when compared to this finished version, but the material is still there for the first half, almost entirely intact, hidden below layers of newer material resulting in the dense and often violent nature of the work. The thematic material is also so hidden by the layers that it comes across almost athematic, although it was quite the opposite to compose. The work is constructed almost entirely from an expanding, chromatic wedge shape which is quite clear on inspection of the score. The slow, 2-part, passacaglia-esque crotchet line that the first half of the piece is built atop of is all that remains of that original version. The work takes the structural ideas of organic, prolonged tension found in my piano quartet (written just prior) to the extreme resulting in a long and sustained, violent yet still striving, climax from which only a tritone survives leaving the work in absolute obscurity at the end.

Study score. Performance materials available on request.