The Round and Square Art of Memory (1999)
The Round and Square Art of Memory for piano and orchestra.
Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Kathryn Stott (piano). 1st performance to take place on 5th Feb. 2000 at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Kathryn Stott (piano), conductor Martyn Brabbins. Dedicated to Kathryn Stott and the BBC Philharmonic.
Piccolo 1, Flute 2, Flute 3/Piccolo 2
2 Oboes, Oboe 3/Cor Anglais
Clarinet 1/E flat Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2/E flat Clarinet 2, Clarinet 3/Bass Clarinet
2 Bassoons, Bassoon 3/Contrabassoon
4 horns in F
3 Trumpets in C
2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone
Percussion (6) Sizzle Cymbal, Tenor Drum, Talking Drum, High timbale, Low Timbale, High Bongo, Maracas, Deep Tam-tam, Temple or Wood Blocks (12 unpitched tones), Agogo Bells (12 unpitched tones), Roto Toms (2-octaves chromatic from E2–D#4), 12 Tuned Gongs (descending from E below middle C thus: E, D, C, B, A, and from C below middle C thus: B flat, A G#, F#, F, E), Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Bass Marimba.
Piano Forte solo
Duration: 32 minutes.
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The title for The Round and Square Art of Memory is taken from the illustrations of the Elizabethan alchemist Robert Fludd and refers to the different natures of encapsulating memory via symbol, geometry and line. This work explores the nature of memory to by referring to another work of mine, The Anatomy of Water. This piece is ‘remembered’ by hearing familiar music through the filter of altered perspectives and dimensions. These distorted memories act in turn as the starting point for the creation of completely new and independent musical material. Two natures of music are explored; the fluid and horizontal (round) and the rhythmic and vertical (square). The work gradually transforms from one to the other through an intense and volatile sound world. The piano’s relationship with the orchestra is dominant but not confrontational; much of the musical material is shared with the orchestra as an equal virtuosic partner.