Whilst writing my current piece, now titled Urban Amber, I have struggled with writing faster music for the violin. Listening to works by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky whilst fantastic weren’t in the style that I wanted to write in, I disliked the strong virtuosic, grandiose and romantic elements these compositions held. This writing was stuck in my head as to what fast violin music sounded like, which to me was contrary to what I wanted to write and what would fit within my composition and atmosphere I was creating. Listening to more contemporary pieces by Xenakis (Dikhthas) and my teacher, Rory Boyle (Lament), I was able to get past my barricade towards fast music and instead just focus on bringing out the underlying, dark and unnerving side to the piece.
With the piece nearly finished, these two contrasting sides – my trance world of soft amber hue happiness against the potential darker elements of city nighttime.
My next piece is going to be for String Orchestra for the Edinburgh Contemporary Ensemble, so I will have to continue exploring the faster elements of violins with the rest of the family, where hopefully I can change what I think is another underlying mindset: that I prefer woodwind fast and strings slow.