‘For who digs hills because they do aspire’

air and agony with words
version 1 for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion violin and cello
version 2 for open instrumentation*
June 2013; 8′

Premiere: Dr K Sextet, Cheltenham Music Festival, 6th July 2013.
2nd performance: Dr K Sextet, Club Inégales, 17th October 2013.
3rd performance: The Chimera Ensemble, York Concert Series, 7th March 2014.

‘Throws down one mountain to cast up a higher.’

Written for Dr K Sextet for the Cheltenham Festival Composers Academy.

This piece takes inspiration from lines of Much Ado About Nothing (though the title is from Pericles). I was reminded of the persuasive, manipulative corruption or “jawboning” of words in political vogue, particularly aspiration. This idea fed into the drama of the piece, intended humorously, of coveted material that fails to express.

highly theatrical
— Rian Evans, The Guardian

…as the work neared its climax, some of the players having made their way down the aisles, eventually grouping into a scabrous kind of Brechtian chorus, clustered at the front of the stage area
— Martin Longley, All About Jazz