Siobhan Dyson


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)
Tag duo
Duration 10 minutes
Instrumentation Clarinet [1 player]; Cello [1 player]

Performances of this work

Date Venue Performer Link
06/03/2020 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland, UK None

New Music Scotland will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information to keep you updated with relevant new music (as defined on our website) news, events and invitations to submit information both by us and shared with us by the new music community.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.