After Thomas Tallis

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A fragment of a short, elegant and restrained 16th-century keyboard piece is quoted – or suggested, rather – during this piece. The fragment is from O Ye Tender Babes, a keyboard piece by Thomas Tallis found in the manuscript known as the Mulliner Book. I think of the material that surrounds the quotation as its ‘resonance’ – the ‘Ur-music’ of the harmonic series gently ringing out… The composer Howard Skempton suggested this idea to me. A year or so before I wrote this piano solo, I was trying to describe for him an idea I had for a piece of music. I was having difficulty articulating myself and, to help me out, he offered the following metaphor: dropping a stone into a lake and watching the ripples. The simplicity and strength of this image has stuck with me; it has been the inspiration for more than one piece.

Subtitle: Prelude # 4
Instrumentation: solo piano
Duration: circa 8′
Date of composition: 2009
Commissioned by:
First Performance: Rika Zayasu, piano. Late Music Concert Series, Unitarian Church, St. Saviourgate, York, November 2009
Score: Please email to obtain the latest score.