As a synaesthetic composer, the idea of finding a new colour has fascinated me for some time. When Aldeburgh Young Musicians asked me to write a piece based on colour, giving me an instrumentation whose timbral colours seemed to me to contradict each other, I decided to explore this idea. "Neo" is the Greek word for "new", while "chroma" means "colour". When I chose the title for this piece, I combined these words.
The players should be arranged in two sections: the flute, trumpet and piano, who represent darkness for most of the piece; and the saxophone and euphonium, who act as shafts of light. These two distinct shades flow in waves throughout the piece, one interrupting the other as it arises. On the final chord, the two dualities of darkness and light finally come together, forming something completely unlike anything that exists in the traditional sphere of colour perception: a colour that blends and transcends dualities: a new colour.
On the final chord, parts should come off one by one; the saxophone and euphonium and trumpet should come off first, leaving the flute and piano still sustaining; the latter should only do so once the chord has completely decayed.
Performed by the Aldeburgh Young Musicians in April 2016 in Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh.