The Anatomy of Air (1997/2011)
For large chamber orchestra. Commissioned by the St. Magnus Festival. First performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Orkney, June 1997.
2[1.2/picc] 2[1.2.] 2[1.2/Bcl] 2[1.2/cbn] – 2 2 0 0 – Timp – Strings: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 minimum.
Duration: 18 minutes.
This is the revised version of 2011
The word anatomy is generally applied to the tangible; to cut open something solid and reveal its inner workings. Air cannot be cut open and observed, but it does have structures and modes of organisation. Weather systems, their layering, patterns of progression, changing densities, textures, forms and forces can be perceived as elements of the anatomy of air; the air’s hidden architecture. Finally, my personal relationship with Orkney, as realised subjectively through sound, provided the ‘colours’, energies and idiosyncrasies which motivate and permeate the music, hopefully enabling it to communicate something of my feelings, impressions and reactions to this very special place and its people.