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 RCMs 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.
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