Première of LoA at Sage Gateshead

I was not able to attend the première of LoA on 22 September. The reports are heartening, both about how the piece was performed and about the reception by the audience.

A première is a difficult thing to miss and this one in particular was special in a number of ways. It is an intensely personal piece, condensing in ten minutes many of the experiences, thoughts and feelings accumulated over twenty-three years of life, work and love in the Northeast of England. The tune Lads of Alnwick, which underlies LoA, followed me around for much of this time, energising me with its enigmatic drive and epitomising in my mind the emblematic role Kathryn Tickell plays in upholding this region's heritage and cultural force. LoA also represents a triumph over adversity, both in terms of the disabled musicians' belief-defying achievement and of my being able to write the piece in rather difficult circumstances.

I thank Sage Gateshead for the commission, the players of Royal Northern Sinfonia for pouring their musicianship into this music, and the four guest musicians Clarence Adoo, Adrian Lee, Gem Lunt and Stephanie West. I hope to hear the piece before too long.

Meanwhile, here is the usual consolation in the form of a computer simulation. This is the version for ten instruments, which replaces the perhaps unrepeatable - or at least hard to repeat - combination that included Clarence Adoo's unique Head Space instrument.



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