Commissioned by Aldeburgh Music for Faster than Sound

Instrumentation: violin and cello
Duration: 9'
First performance: 18 May 2013. Pekka Kuusisto (violin) and Peter Gregson (cello), Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, Snape.

perusal score


In this short piece of night-music, two materials alternate: a microtonally-inflected lullaby on the one hand and a shadow world of loops and dances on the other.  Throughout, violin and cello are fused together as a single instrument, the violin projecting an imagined resonance of the cello.  As each verse passes, this resonance becomes richer and more complex, until eventually the violin escapes into a kind of birdsong.  Despite their now contrasting songs, the two instruments remain bound together until the end, the cello repeating a simplified version of the lullaby melody, while the violin circles overhead.