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Another journey calls

image: Tom Hammick

first performance:

Aris Quartett

Barber Institute, Birmingham

25 November 2020

duration:

11 minutes

programme note:

In Another Journey Calls, we encounter several distinct settings through an episodic journey, much as in the Odyssey to which the title alludes. The piece begins in an intense landscape – a thick, matted, reverberating texture in the lowest instrumental registers. A voice from the first violin gradually emerges and ascends, leading to a second episode, where the cello, still deep-toned and energetic, is set against the rest of the ensemble. While the music’s appearance then shifts in totality through various new episodes – some with powerful melody in unison or near-unison, some that feel relatively distant, one that is suddenly filled with pizzicato – there is always continuity in the persistent melodic fragments and the held or quickly repeated groups of notes that echo between the players, as well as a reiterative sense of reaching or ascension. This leads us through a journey that does not necessarily feel linear; rather, some settings appear to be reencountered along the way with a renewed perspective. Only in the final episode do we reach a calmer place where the texture frees up to allow a moment of reflection, before the final, highest ascension.


Louise Drewett