for flute and five musicians (2019 – 2020)
Duration: c. 19 minutes
This flute concerto burrows into the processes of remembering. How can music ‘remember’ – other people, other notes? The first movement is a decayed memory of the opening of Allan Pettersson’s Thirteenth Symphony, a work of extreme instability and energetic violence seen from afar, after time has perhaps erased much of its anger – what is left?
The central movement creates a representation of ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ – a purging from society’s collective memory, or a rewriting of history. A series of variations progressively have their musical ‘identities’ erased by a repeating gesture that attempts to extinguish the soloist – here cast as an antagonist to be purged from the landscape.
The final movement considers the Hapax – something that only occurs once in a work. Would we recognise and remember if it we heard it? Curlicues of bass flute melody infold themselves in a hall of mirrors where all events are reflected and repeated except one – the key to unlocking the piece.
Memory was commissioned by Ensemble Offspring
First performance: 28 October 2021, Sydney Opera House Utzon Room by Lamorna Nightingale (flutes) with Ensemble Offspring (Jason Noble, Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba, Chris Pidcock, Ben Kopp & Claire Edwardes) conducted by Jack Symonds
Listen to the work performed by Lamorna Nightingale, Ensemble Offspring cond. Jack Symonds