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The name of a place opens, at a word, a world rich with images and associations; a world of landscapes, seasons, lives of the people who have lived there, births, deaths, celebrations and hardships. Travelling through the north of Scotland in search of the crofter villages that my grandparents’ families had left I found weathered stones where the villages had stood. Sometimes I found nothing – just a name on an old map.
These six short pieces for solo piano were written with those lost villages in mind, no longer visible by day, but living on in the name, in the night, and in the lives of the diaspora.
Each work is constructed from distinct and different melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements. However the sound world for all six is drawn from my remembered images of granite, steep hillsides, rushing water, wild flowers, wind-bent trees, and above all, the lives lived within the villages.
Six short contrasting movements
03 Jun 2011: Performed by David Guerin at the Concert Hall of the School of Music, University of Auckland.