Paul Q. Rhys

for clarinet and birdsong

duration: 16 minutes

Dialogue originated as a four-movement solo for clarinet, written for Andrew Sparling. In this work technical concerns inspired the creative process: an exploration of rhythmic inversion and of harmony moving by quartertone steps. It was only after hearing the first performance that I had the idea of combining this solo with the elegant lyricism of a birdsong recording, played at quarter-speed. I hope that the resulting work, like a sculpture in a beautiful garden, achieves a symbiosis between human invention and the virtuosity of nature.

Paul Rhys was born in 1965 and studied at St. Paul’s School and Oxford University. He obtained a PhD in Composition from Keele University, spending one year in Chicago supported by a Wingate Fellowship. He currently teaches composition at Reading University and works in London as a conductor, singer and piano-teacher.

His compositions include Chicago Fall for mixed acoustic/electronic ensemble, performed by Ensemble Itineraire at the Pompidou Centre in Paris; Not I and Five Preludes written for pianist Ian Pace and performed in London, Strasbourg and Chicago; the String Quartet No.1, performed by the Lyric Quartet; and a large-scale Gloria for choir and orchestra conducted by his father Stephen Rhys at St James Piccadilly, with Jane Manning as soloist.

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