For a while now, I have been interested in the edges of things: where things start and stop being, where they vanish, where one idea bleeds into another. This piece attempts to combine found sounds and streams of ‘noise’ that we carry with us in the background of our lives - radios, pop music, conversations, remembered places - only occasionally gliding into focus as we pass by an open door, with a more ‘abstract’ musical discourse. Far from going on a nostalgia trip, I want to examine the way we remember, the way we share our experiences and how every sound we will ever hear will be imbued with connections we ourselves may not be able to verbalise. The creative act seems to me to be a constant re-evaluation and processing of all our absorbed experiences, reconfiguring these into a musical constellation — a communing with our personalised versions of what the Renaissance Neoplatonists might name the ‘world-soul’ or Schopenhauer the ‘will’, but without the metaphysics. We cannot, and should not want to, escape our myriad ties to history and to each other, nor should we embrace these blindly, but always go on thinking, thinking and rethinking.
The cello part of Mikrokonzert was written for Alice Purton and it was premiered by her with the Vaganza New Music Ensemble on 16 May 2010 at the York Spring Festival of New Music.