Andrew George Wilson

The carrion hand
for solo tenor* and large chamber ensemble

3fl/pic/alto, ob, cor, ecl,cl, bn, cbn, hn, harp, gui, 3 perc, pno/celesta, 2vn, va, vc, db

duration: 12 minutes

*the piece may also be performed without tenor soloist by omitting the opening song

The carrion hand is a twelve minute piece which includes the setting of a poem from the Late Tang, by Meng Chiao, Sadness of the Gorges. However, it is possible to perform the piece purely instrumentally by omitting the initial song, and giving the coda, otherwise sung by the tenor as he walks slowly off-stage, to the horn.

The piece is subtitled travel music from the opera ‘The Journey to the West’ and describes the wanderings of a band of pilgrims in the mountains as, beset by perils of all kinds, they head for India in the hope of meeting Buddha.

Andrew Wilson is an AHRB scholar currently embarking on a Doctorate in Composition at the RCM - the first to do so, under the supervision of Edwin Roxburgh and Harrison Birtwistle. In 1999 Richard Rodney Bennett awarded him the RCM’s Cobbett and Hurlstone prize for composition. His doctoral project is The Journey to the West in which he hopes to blend opera with ‘total theatre’, reflecting the influences of Kabuki, Beijing opera and innovative theatre groups such as Theatre de Complicite.

Recent works include ensemble pieces such as The Ragged Rock (performed by the Composer’s Ensemble at last year’s Hoxton Festival), and two orchestral pieces - Descent from the Palace - a Revolutionary Etude, evoking the spirit of the French and Russian revolutions, and Passion Music which, written in the Bach anniversary year, has at its heart a ‘sinfonia’ such as the composer imagines might have preceded Bach’s lost St. Mark’s Passion.

Back to shortlist.