For voice, flute, viola, piano and percussion
The opening music for flute and piano was originally scored for solo flute. The music illustrates Sonnet no.7 by Shakespeare. This is to be recited by the singer at the start of the performance.
Song no.1 first appeared in 2007 as ‘Blake’s Drum’ and was the result of a commission from the Michaelhouse Centre, Cambridge. The second song was composed in 1991 and was originally scored for voice and piano. I found that the addition of the viola, flute and percussion helped considerably with the word painting. This song also contains a self-quotation. The music illustrating the line ‘That thou among the waste of time must go’ is to be found in my violin sonata, an earlier work.
The final song of the set was finished at the beginning of 2011. I found the words of Shelley to be incredibly strong and inspirational. The poem chimes well with my own musical exploration of the passing of time. The piece ends with an epilogue using the music from the start but this time with the addition of the viola and some light percussion.
The piece is moving, thoughtful and exquisitely crafted. I am haunted still by the slight menace of the flute and piano at beginning and end, and will return to the piece again and again.
— Tony Scotland, author and broadcaster