Substanceless Blue

This is a commissioned piece by the Cambridge Young Composers' Network for the Cambridge November 2017 Music Festival. I wrote this piece for Huw Watkins and it was performed in November 2017 in the Old Library of Emmanuel College.

Programme Note

I was instantly struck by the enigmatic themes and vibrant imagery of Sylvia Plath's poem, "Ariel", and by the ambiguity surrounding what it could mean. For me, it is a text about identity, and about the dissolution of identity through a spiritual or creative experience. The gradual breaking down of chord into fragments of counterpoint, and ultimately into a single long melodic line, is intended to reflect this dissolution, as the speaker in the poem melts "into the red/ eye, the cauldron of morning."



Substanceless Blue score: page 1 Substanceless Blue score: page 2 Substanceless Blue score: page 3