Meditation is for cello, clarinet, flute, piano, vibraphone and violin, with a duration of five minutes. It was commended in the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2014 Competition and is performed here by the Dr K Sextet. Being extremely interested and drawn to the philosophical and spiritual teachings of Buddhism, as well as to psychology and the study of the workings of the mind, I was inspired base Meditation on the experience of the title and what the mind might look like if observed during it. The four lines of text towards the end of the piece are my own and spoken by the percussionist.
Meditation was written in 2014 for The Cambridge Young Composer of The Year Competition and it was my very first instrumental piece. It was performed by Dr Sextet at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge in November 2014.
I may be asked how the idea of meditation is connected to that of identity. Well, I have heard that some people believe that one can discover elements of one’s identity that perhaps, we may not have otherwise known through meditation. I found this idea fascinating and therefore decided to explore it in this piece.
The phrases may seem disconnected and irrelevant to one another in places, which is meant to represent thoughts as they pass in and out of the mind.
The four lines spoken by the percussionist are ones that I wrote myself as a sort of conclusion to the piece: a reflection of the feelings the person meditating has experienced and, on the last chord and the a niente, all those doubts about who he is disappearing into the ether with the music as he discovers himself.
Since I composed this piece completely apart from any instrument and notation software, it was very much like a stream of consciousness, which I hope has helped me reflect its message.
”This piece stands out as the most earnest attempt in the competition at something original. I am impressed by the variety of the ‘disconnected and irrelevant’ ideas, some of which have a very clear, almost naive harmonic innocence, while others are complex and pit extreme dissonances against one another. The musical continuity which is arrived at from bar 49 (with the rising piano chords) is a sudden blossoming from the earlier disparate continuity’. Ewan Campbell, Judge of the 2014 Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition.