Pharaoh's Chariots bear four images from the Song of Solomon. Amongst the golden array are tales of a search for a lover, a Palanquin, and the Scent of Lebanon. Buried within each image is common pitch and rhythmic material individually shaped and developed with silver and strings of jewels.
Raymond Hardy was born in 1959 in Maidstone, he lives in Bromley, Kent. He has been a practising Dental surgeon since 1982. An interest in modem jazz by virtue of skills as a saxophonist and flautist led to a five year part-time B-mus degree from Goldsmith's College, University of London. This was completed in 1995. Although still active in the jazz field, frequently in collaboration with the pianist Jon Goble, composition study with Tim Ewers and David Carhart fired his interest in contemporary art music.
Since 1996 Raymond has studied with the composer James Erber. This has culminated in a series of works which include the spnm shortlisted octet Study for Calvary (1997-98), inspired by a painting by Marc Chagall, and the piano cycle, Pharaoh's Chariots (1998-1999), which draws inspiration from the Song of Solomon. Most recently Catherine Pluygers and Robert Puzey have recorded Undiscovered Country (1999) a meditation on Hamlet for Oboe and Viola. Plus the new millennium saw the completion of a recorder trio Ghosts 1 and 2 (1999-2000).
Inevitably there is a subliminal jazz influence on Raymond's scores perhaps reflected by the strong rhythmic patterns that ebb and flow throughout. However he is fascinated by the Complexity movement embodied by James Erber and the output of Michael Finnissy and Brian Ferneyhough. Equally he admires the American independents such as George Crumb and Morton Feldman and pays homage to the post-war Europeans, notably Olivier Messiaen.
Raymond Hardy's wide ranging non-musical interests underpin much of his work. These include the declining industrial landscape, architecture since 1930, expressionist and abstract art, modem poetry, socialism, Roman Catholicism, his family and the London metropolis.
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