X by Andrew Fowler
With this work for violin and piano, I wanted to find a way to write a work that makes sense as a whole in a non-tonal context. I used my own system of pitches crossing each other throughout the course of the piece to determine the pitches, then organised the piece into several sections that contrast greatly in texture, mood and tempo. These sections form an arc that brings the piece together.
Lights Out by Jennifer Taylor
The poem I set in this art song, "Lights Out," was written by Edward Thomas shortly before he died in 1917 during World War I. The poem is about soldiers contemplating death and wondering whether or not they will return home. I chose the soprano voice for this work so that the singer could represent the loved ones back home, longing for a soldier to return, while the piano represents the distance and danger between them. The variety of emotions expressed by the text are shown by the starkly contrasting ideas throughout the work.
Spindrift by Simon Hellewell
On mountains in winter, spindrift is snow that is caught by a strong wind and blown off the hill in something resembling a small cloud. It is a very beautiful thing in good weather but mountains in winter can be terrifying when the weather closes in. This piece is something of an ode to winter mountaineering. It attempts to capture both the beauty of a clear day in the mountains and the chill and menace of conditions worsening.
tEn by Bryce Hope
This piece, tEn, is my attempt at an exploration of extended piano techniques with the aim of creating a ‘soundscape for acoustic piano’. As an avid follower of the works of George Crumb, Henry Cowell and others of their calibre and style, I have taken a shine to the creation of unusual sounds through uses of timbre. Crumb’s influence, specifically, can be heard in this work, where I have taken his teachings and moulded them to create a composition that is stamped with my own unique style. This piece is in ten short sections, with each section having its own unique sound. My aim is for each section to have the duration and attention that will allow the audience to appreciate the sound that is being created, while the form of the piece is tied together by the eerie countdown to zero being shouted by the solo performer.
Line, Interrupted by Anna McClure
This piece is about a journey, stemming initially from the train journey from Elgin to Aberdeen, and back again, that I do most weekdays. The track contour on Google maps provided the route the notes should take, starting on E for Elgin and ending on A for Aberdeen, and then returning the way it came to form a palindrome. However, it is more than just the physical journey: this has also been a learning experience that continues to change and develop. The notated line follows a fairly straightforward path on its forward route, then in the middle section it becomes blurred and fragmented, chopped up and mixed up, to represent how our learning and ideas as students are constantly being stirred up. It then re-forms itself for the return journey, but changed in some way to reflect the new perspective and direction.
The Sands of Forvie by Joe Stollery
This piece was inspired by a trip to Forvie Sands, north of Aberdeen. A medieval village lies buried beneath the sand, destroyed in a storm. The church is the only building that remains visible. To symbolise this musically, I have borrowed a musical ostinato from Debussy's 'La Cathédrale engloutie'. The whole piece was inspired by the place as it is today, but there is also the suggestion of the fatal storm in the middle, as if the place is re-enacting that event, frozen in time.