(2011) – Fl/Picc, Ob/Cor A/Cabasa, Cl, Hrn, Hrp, Vln I, Vln II, Vla, Vc
After collecting a disparate collection of musical fragments or ‘images’ through certain ‘field research’, I selected five poems by four poets included in an anthology of ‘Imagist Poetry’ to help give form to these sketches. The poems are set to music but passed around the ensemble rather than being sung by a vocalist.
The five movements preserve the titles and moods of the poems and run as follows: I- Metric Figure (William Carlos Williams), a bright and playful movement where the sun sings high in the poplars, outshining the noise of the wind. This movement then segues in to II- A Girl (Ezra Pound), where a more settled mood of sustained chords accompany melodic lines that search for a kind of dark, melancholic beauty. III- Oread (Hilda Doolittle); this very short, explosive movement responds to the lively character of the poem, blurring the boundaries between land and sea. IV- Sea Rose (Hilda Doolittle); much like in A Girl this movement searches for a slightly darker beauty in its sometimes meagre and warped sound world. IV then segues in to V- Nothing to Save (D.H.Lawrence), which distils the music of Sea Rose into a brief coda-like movement.
In Images – part 2 the texts are sung by a solo Soprano and accompanied by the same instrumentation.
Images – part 1 was first performed by the Academy Manson Ensemble conducted by Bruce Knockles at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in October 2011.