repose I (2017)

for Baroque flute, baroque viola & harpsichord


c. 4'40


Mar 2018, Royal College of Music, London

Amelia Shakespeare (baroque flute), Ethan Rouse (viola), Tipwatoo Aramwittaya (harpsichord)

Score & parts available upon request; preview score here

Programme note

repose I was composed for Consort 21, a historical performance chamber ensemble formed with a keen interest in performing contemporary repertoire. Led by Jane Chapman, the Consort comprises students at the Royal College of Music who meet weekly for rehearsals in Spring term, culminating in a showcase concert. This year, the concert took place in the Farinelli room on 16 Mar.

I would say this piece is a ‘compositional response’ to a sketch by my fellow composer friend, Lara Poe. When both of us initially discovered that we were writing for the same combination of instruments (flute, viol da gamba & harpsichord; the viol was later substituted with viola for my piece in light of unfortunate circumstances), I suggested that it would be nice to write ‘twinned’ pieces. Lara was up for it. She showed me her sketch, and I wrote my piece. I then showed my piece to her, and she wrote hers—repose II.

In this piece, moments of ‘scurrying-about’ are followed by moments of ‘water-droplet’ calmness—or repose. In particular, I explore for how long I am able to sustain a moment of calmness, just before the calmness turns into tension as one anticipates the next thing to happen.