The Celtic - 1994
Published by Camden Music
Violin concerto for violin and string orchestra (also soprano sax). Duration, 14 minutes.
Violin Concerto - The Celtic Ceilidh; Lament for Collessie; The Cooper of Clapham
Ceilidh is intended to reflect a lone figure appearing over thetop of one of the Scottish Glens and seeing in the distance through the twilight mist, the glow of a light in the window of a distant inn. Approaching, then opening the door, it is supposed to capture the spirit of a ceilidh going on inside, (a Scottish barn dance) as it gets wilder and wilder as everyone gets intoxicated on the "atmosphere".
During autumn of 1994 my family and I had to move back to London and I really missed the small village of Collessie in Fife, where we had lived for a year and where we had made many close friends. The opening and closing figure of this movement, using ponticelli in the upper strings over a drone bass, is reminiscent of distant bagpipes. The Lament for Collessie is a slow movement which expresses my sense of loss at leaving this environment and these friends.
In 1994 one of the great craftsmen of the century, Mr. Albert Cooper, was 70. Albert Cooper, in my opinion, makes the best flutes in the world, and I wanted to write a piece to celebrate his 70th. Living in Cupar, Fife, I decided to base the piece on an early version of a popular local song - the Wee Cooper of Fife - which became The Cooper of Clapham. Happy birthday, Albert!.
Recorded on Freestyle Classics - The Celtic it features Clio Gould on violin with The Scottish Ensemble.
Also recorded for Silva Classics SILKD6010 - Gerard McChrystal and The London Musici.
African Sunrise/Manhattan Rave - 1995
Published by Chester Music
For percussion and full orchestra. Duration, 35 minutes.
Percussion concerto commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, sponsored by Hydro-Electric with a subsidy from the Scottish Arts Council.
The First section, "African Sunrise", is played on the marimba and uses many different timbres of the instrument from the low almost choral opening (accompanied by thunder and rain machines) to the virtuoso middle section (on the top part of the marimba) to the lyrical final section (played in octaves on the middle of the instrument).
Manhattan Rave starts with triplet open triads in the orchestra and as the piece develops the harmonies and rhythms become more and more aggressive and complex until complete anarchy takes over. After a huge climax, there is a short coda section for vibraphone and flugelhorn reminiscent of Miles Davis and Gary Burton, bringing back echoes of the theme from "African Sunrise".
Recorded on Black Box - Featuring Evelyn Glennie and The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dave Heath.
First performed by Evelyn Glennie and The Scottish Youth Orchestra - Orkney 1995
Fire and Passion -
Published by Camden Music
For bass flute and strings. Duration, approximately 12 minutes.
The Rage - Part 1 is based on an Indian raga 'Puria' and an amazing chord I heard at a session (which turned out to be a copyist's mistake). The piece opens with the sounds of the rainforest all played live. The rain sounds are real running water dripping onto leaves - an idea I first used in Water from The Four Elements.
The Rage - Part 2 develops the ideas of Part 1 and at one point switches around the normal relationship between audience and performers.
Recorded on Freestyle Classics - Rain, Fire and Passion.
First performed by Dave Heath and the BT Scottish Ensemble - Edinburgh 1996