for St Swithun
(flute, clarinet, viola, cello, piano)
duration: 8 minutes
Quintet for St Swithun
This piece explores the possibilities of constructing larger forms
using small melodic fragments; a process that is similar to the construction
of early Jewish and Christian liturgical song.
In this quintet, there are seven basic melodicles (melodic fragments)
that are pieced together into one long line. Throughout the first part
of the piece this long chain is inverted, retrograded or simply repeated
over an obsessive piano ostinato.
The second half of the piece presents the same material, but in a harmonic
form. Systematic extraction of pitches from the line gave me a new line,
which was built into chords by layering with rhythmically altered transpositions
What is important for me in this piece is that the material is never developed
- simply reused in an alternative form.
I spent a weekend in Winchester halfway through writing the piece; therefore
it is dedicated to St Swithun, whose shrine once stood in the Cathedral.
Terry Mann (b. 1963) has worked as a self-employed
musician since 1991, during which time he has undertaken several education
and community based residencies. In 1994 he began studying composition,
and gained his MMus from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1999.
As well as studying part-time, he is currently working as an accompanist
(percussion) for contemporary dance classes at the Laban Centre London,
where he also gives occasional lectures on music/dance collaboration to
the BA choreography students.
Performances of works so far have included four dance pieces created in
collaboration with the choreographer Diane Vivona. A film of one such
piece (moving into this moment, looking) was chosen for showing at the
dance on camera festival, New York, in December 1998.
Future plans include a PhD at Goldsmiths (under Philip Cashian), continued
dance collaborative work (including more mixed-media projects), work with
composition in education and, hopefully, a greater number of concert performances.
Visit Terry at www.incalcando.com
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