Welcome: 1st Movement
“Born into a world to quick to catch….Stop, Just Stop”
The opening portrays the hospital, with the clarinet mimicking the pulse oximeter (a machine used to measure heart and oxygen levels). I expanded the sound and dove deeper with the cello, using a heartbeat effect.
The irregularities in the heartbeat create uncertainty.
I created a theme which is a mixture of love; shown by the harmony; and innocence; shown by the simplicity of the theme. The harmony changes, which shows the time in my life when the complications were noticed. I was only a few hours old.
“They gave me medicine”
I wanted to create a cliffhanger with this text. It also serves a purpose in the story whilst simultaneously connecting the music to the next movement
Going Home: 2nd Movement
This piece opens with the text:
“Cold as ice, skin, dead as the world to come”
And high open string harmonics on the cello. These harmonics were introduced to give the illusion of ice, which supports the text. This text, along with the music, narrates the time when the medical staff noticed the complications. These complications are then further expanded through the dense semiquaver rhythm and conflicting harmony. The motif and rhythm is then quickened. I intended to raise the tension with the following text:
“Can’t. Stop. Shaking”
This text explains the fit I had which were lessened by the medication I was given.
The tension is further strained with the high flutter tongue from the clarinet, and the tremolo from the cello.
“One to four”
I complete this motif with slow chords, showing I have overcame my fits.
“This First Time I Saw Your Face”
I dedicate this small section to the birth of my best friend – my brother, Rhys. The text is significant as it was the song playing on the radio during his birth.
I created a chord progression in the cello and repeated it throughout. The theme represents love and protectiveness.
This was an important time in my life and I remember it as though it was yesterday.
Taken: 3rd Movement
This section dives into the deep dark depression I suffered from at the hands of someone else.
“But then it happened”
This text and gliss from the cello keeps the audience interested and raises the tension. I try to convey negative emotions with the text.
“Is this normal too?”
I asked the musicians to say this text as is if they were uncertain. I decided to depict the feeling of nothingness with the cello. The harmony is uneasy and unsettling, giving a ‘numb’ feeling.
This feeling is then uplifted when the musician says “But I was saved”
I reorganize the theme from Movement 2
The first time I saw your face
I use this theme to characterise love and safety, completing the piece.
Instrumentation Genre Ensemble (no conductor)
Duration 10 minutes
Instrumentation Clarinet [1 player]; Cello [1 player]
Performances of this work
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland, UK|
Unusual Music Exchange w/ Ailie Ormston
Elsewhere, Elsewhen - CD and Digital Album from Nordic Viola
On a Wing and a Prayer
Legato: Call for Early-Career Composers
Echoes - Connections Crafting Eco-systems through Soundscapes Interactions: a participatory Sound-walk experience and Art conversation
Call for Scottish Works - Nordic Music Journeys: Sweden and Scotland