for large orchestra
2 fl (2nd doubling picc), a-fl, 2 ob,
ca, eb cl, 2 cl (2nd doubling b-cl), 2 bn (2nd doubling cbn), 4
hn, 3 trp, 2 t-trb, b-trb, tba, timp, hp, strings
duration: 10 minutes
The inspiration for
this piece comes from an event in my childhood. I have an image of being
driven late at night along a narrow, empty country road. The road is lined
with tall trees. The headlights of our car are shining up into the trees,
which reflect the light back. Yet beyond the reach of the headlights,
behind the front line of trees, there is pitch darkness, which makes me
uneasy. The memory has a dream-like quality for me and although the event
in itself is not very remarkable, its image is closely linked in my mind
with a musical fragment. I have tried to reproduce the texture and instrumentation
of this music memory and develop the ideas within it.
I studied music at Durham University and composition with John Casken.
I graduated in 1987, and subsequently studied Javanese gamelan at the
music academy, STSI, in Central Java and Ethnomusicology at Durham as
Since 1988, I have been a member of the South Bank Gamelan Players with
whom I have performed regularly in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. I
have also been an enthusiastic exponent of new music for gamelan, and
have been involved in many projects performing other composers' works,
including those of Salvatore Sciarrino, Lou Harrison, John Adams, Alec
Roth and Philip Corner.
I have had a number of works shortlisted by spnm including Troublous
Wringing (1995), Hairy Rita (1997) and Dream
Forest (1999). Performances for western ensemble include the following.
Reciprocal (1997) for chamber ensemble was performed by
Sounds Positive conducted by David Sutton-Anderson at St John's Smith
Square, London. Dream Forest (1999) for orchestra was given
a workshop performance by the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra conducted
by Jonathan Butcher.
I have had a number of compositions for gamelan performed by various groups
including, most recently, My Mother's House (1998) written
for western flute, two female vocalists and gamelan, performed by Mary
King and the South Bank Gamelan Players at the ISCM World Music Days in
Since moving to Cambridge two years ago, I have become Director of the
Cambridge Gamelan Group. I have been instrumental in setting up links
with schools in Cambridgeshire in order to provide gamelan workshops for
I am trained as a social worker. In 1996, however, I gave up my job in
order to look after my son and compose. I have subsequently divided my
time between these.
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