Composer website: https://soundcloud.com/
…of sorrow, joy, and dancing, for Orchestra.
I have always been particularly drawn to the Jewish folk music tradition due to its vivid expression of joy and sorrow. This piece is consequently an exploration of the sound world found in the klezmer music of Eastern Europe. The title is a reference to a verse from an Old Testament Psalm attributed to the Jewish king, David: ‘You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy’. (Psalm 30.11)
Featured in Orchestral Waves (November 2018).
String Quartet No. 2 ‘Transfigured Notes’ – Movement 3. ‘You Cannot Be Serious’.
‘You Cannot Be Serious’ is the third movement of my second string quartet. The entire work draws on aspects of Arnold Schoenberg’s life. The third movement focuses on his habit of playing tennis with George Gershwin and is preceded by the following quote:“George Gershwin and Arnold Schoenberg played tennis once a week. According to an observer who saw them play, ‘Gershwin was nonchalant and chivalrous, always playing to an audience. Schoenberg, on the other hand, was overly eager, choppy, and had learned to shut his mind against public opinion”.
Upon reading this quote, it struck me how much these descriptions of the composers’ respective tennis styles also related to their music. The idea of musically depicting a tennis match between Gershwin and Schoenberg became the narrative of the third movement. The opening section assigns leitmotifs to each composer. Gershwin is represented by a carefree, blues-influenced theme while Schoenberg is represented by a more serious theme based on a 12 tone row. Throughout the movement these respective styles are contrasted, depicting the back and forth duelling that takes place in a tennis match, until one idea finally triumphs. The title of the movement relates to the quote above as well as being a playful reference to John McEnroe’s famous outburst at the umpire after a line call went against him while competing at Wimbledon in 1981.
Featured in the playlist String Quartet Waves (March 2019)