Reflections for FourSight (update)

Four SightHave you ever wondered what the music in my background image sounded or looked like?!

In autumn 2012, FourSight issued a brief inviting composers to write two minute tasters of contemporary music in any style, based on one of five pieces of artwork. FourSight is Victoria Soames Samek (clarinets & saxes), Steve Bingham (acoustic violin & electric violin), Adrian Sutcliffe (piano & keyboards) and Chris Brannick (narration & percussion). FourSight is devoted to the cutting edge of contemporary music, complemented by 20th century master works with elegantly arranged jazz numbers.

Click the photo above for more videos of these pieces.

Performed below, I love the echoed marimba playing of Chris to represent the three identical layers in the recording.

My composition “Reflections” is inspired by the artwork below by Theo Kennedy Cordner. Here it is on SoundCloud for a free listen.

Programme note:

“Reflections” is inspired by Theo Kennedy Cordner’s image of two opposing planets – one mechanical, industrious and geometric and the other natural, fluid and covered with melting snow and drifting smoke. Although separated in space, they interact with each other. Musically, the rhythmic marimba part (in 7/8) is repeated using delay to suggest the geometric forms and radio signals emanating from the planet and is supported by the piano. This builds up a complex layer of harmonies using varied dynamics and panning to suggest motion. The uppermost part of these figures is performed at half speed (in 7/4) in the violin and clarinet, whilst the two solo instruments are playing a reflection (inversion) of each other’s part. For the quiet middle section, the violin plays melodic sequences accompanied by gentle rippling clarinet patterns, gentle marimba echoes and sustained piano chords. The roles are then reversed with the violin taking the marimba fifths and the clarinet exploring its scalic figures. The piece concludes with the reflective main theme in a higher range aiming for the abrupt climax.

Artwork by Theo Kennedy Cordner