the magical control of rain (2012)
Weather control is the act of manipulating or altering certain aspects of the environment to produce desirable changes in weather. Weather control can have the goal of preventing damaging weather, such as hurricanes or tornados, from occurring; of causing beneficial weather, such as rainfall in an area experiencing drought; or of provoking damaging weather against an enemy or rival, as a tactic of military or economic warfare.
the magical control of rain is posthumously dedicated to the Scottish composer Morris Pert. Duration circa. 40 minutes.
I recently discovered that the pianist Mark Spalding was a great advocate of Morris Pert’s piano music and has become the prime exponent of this music in the UK. I suggested to Mark that it may be an attractive idea to ask other composers who admired Pert’s music to write some small piano pieces to be performed alongside this music in concerts.
Mark asked me if I would like to write a piece for left hand only. Also, as a number of composers were involved in writing these pieces it was suggested that material from Pert’s Drosten theme (contained within another piano work) was incorporated in some way to bind the compositions together.
This I did. However, I created a piece that I was generally unhappy with and did not deliver it to Mark.
Subsequently, I took the material from the left-hand only piece and decided to experiment with it; transforming, expanding and restructuring the music for both hands. I instantly felt more satisfied with the results. It soon became clear to me that I was not building a small occasional piece composed around Pert’s theme but a substantial 22-minute, six-movement work that whilst no longer audibly themed around Pert’s notes, was, never-the-less, imbued with the ghost of these notes as well as the original left-hand music; It was as if the shapes, structures and harmonies of the left-hand piece were binding this new work together.
I finally plucked up the courage to tell Mark that the shorter left-hand only piece had failed, but I had written a demanding and substantial work to pay tribute to the music of my friend, Morris Pert.
the magical control of rain is a through-composed complete work. However, each of the sections of this piece has been designed as free-standing shorter pieces in their own right, to be performed separately, in varied combinations or ideally as the one complete piano work.