The second workshop for Next Wave took place on July 23rd and 24th up at the Sage, Gateshead. This time I had completed more or less a full draft of my new work 'El Hilo del Tiempo' for accordion, two violins and percussion.
The piece is inspired by the Mayan sacred calendar. The first day in the calendar is called the 'thread of time' (translated in to spanish El Hilo del Tiempo) and I took this as the idea of the piece. The accordion interests me as it can create very sustained sounds or 'threads' and so I created sustained melodic material for the accordion that is extended by an effects pedal. Luke Carver Goss has an amazing electronic effects pedal for his accordion and I have enjoyed experimenting with this in the workshops. The initial accordion 'thread' then goes on a serious of variations throughout the piece, each one inspired by the character of one of the days of the Mayan Calendar.
The piece is also more generally about time, as I've been thinking about why time seems to go faster as I get older. This is reflected in the piece which gradually introduces faster tempi until at the end Luke's accordion spirals out of control with the reverb and delay making it sound as though the accordion is disappearing into a vortex.
The workshop went really well, I've really enjoyed working with the fantastic Luke Carver Goss and musicians from Royal Northern Sinfonia. I also enjoyed hearing the other composers pieces which are all really varied in style. I'm going to do a few minor structural edits to the work and meet up with my mentor David Horne before we record the works with NMC in November, really looking forward to it!