A Canon for Alan
About the work
This was written aas a celebration of the composer Alan Bullard’s 50th birthday in 1997, all the melodic and harmonic material consisting of his and his family members’ names and initials. In 5/4 time (give or take the odd crotchet) and lasting 50 bars, it was scored for instruments which Alan and his family played: flute, trumpet, alto saxophone and piano.
The first public performance was arranged for the flexible resources of what is now Firewire, the Colchester-based CoMA ensemble. It was given at a ‘Sounding Out’ concert at the Charter Hall Colchester in 2002, directed by the composer, the ensemble being joined by a violinist from the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Field – the resident ‘outreach’ ensemble – for whom a repeat of the theme was incorporated as a solo. It is this version that has been submitted for CoMA’s Open Score, 2007.
Later it was especilly re-arranged for oboe, clarinet, viola and piano and was performed (very beautifully!) by members of the Composers’ Ensemble at a Colchester New Music Concert at the Swinburne Hall Colchester in March 2004.
A short introduction leads successively to two ‘verses’ of a lyrical modal melody (Alan’s theme), the first having an optional re-scored repeat, the second being presented in canon. A short coda completes the piece.