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Flickering airs in coloured skies

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Sextet
2017
8 min.

Cello

Clarinet

Flute

Viola

Violin

More Details

Program Notes
Flickering airs in coloured skies was written for the 2017 St Magnus Festival Composition Course. The piece explores the imagery and the beautiful colours of the Orkney’s rugged landscapes, capturing the essence of the rapid changes in the wild weather and the impact these have on the light qualities. An ethereal and tranquil section opens the piece, punctuated with off-stage air sounds from the winds, with string harmonics being used to create a transparent fragile sound that is soon disturbed by explosive bursts of energy that quickly dissipate into nothingness. As the piece progresses, the bursts become more sustained, representative of some of the turbulent weather that Orkney endures throughout the year. Each of the flickering airs returns a number of times throughout the piece, though always in a subtly different guise.