score-image
0:00
0:00
profile

Sine Nomine

3 views
2020
9 min.

Bassoon

Brass

Clarinet

Flute

Horn

Oboe

Winds

More Details

Program Notes
Sine Nomine had its origins when I was sitting at my desk and was told by my grandmother that “while you're a good writer, you're too modernist” and that “people like a bit of melody in their music”. Thus, this piece was born, as both a joke and a kind of musical spite. I set out to write a simple piece based on melody, inspired by modern composers whose music is based on minimal (but not minimalist) melodic material, such as Howard Skempton and Lou Harrison. The bassoon riff that becomes both an ostinato of the first movement and the basis for the whole piece was inspired by Vox Vulgaris, a band who play on medieval period instruments. On this I built a four movement piece that was meant to stay on the line between a simple piece that playfully answered my grandmother’s challenge, and avoid being eye-rollingly simplistic. Ironically, this joke ended up being a leap in my abilities as a composer. I wrote a basic piece to start, but for the first time found myself willing to edit and re-edit, and in the end I had what I considered my best work. The title is Latin “without a name”, it was a suggestion from Daniel Adams, a friend and music director/ journalist in the UK. To me the name perfectly caught the spirit of the piece, a response to both my grandmother and a world filled with grand statements that amount to absolutely nothing.
Recording Notes
Performed by Pure Winds