pumping iron (1996)
for clarinet, horn, trumpet, piano, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass | 16 mins.
First performed by Psappha, by Paul MacAlindin, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, November 1997.
Pumping Iron is about sensation; an almost physical delight in the power of rhythm and dissonance to get inside people and drag them, willingly or otherwise, into a sound world of primal intensity. However, other factors are at play. The title refers, in particular, to weight-lifting and the vanities implied in the ‘body beautiful’ culture.