Impossible Worlds

Riley, Colin

About the work

was drawn to the Escher pictures as they seemed to mirror many of my own work: underlying dualities, the inhabiting of a confined world, and the slow transformations. Escher’s work seems rich in both structural and atmospheric ideas, and the possibility of using them in a piece has been at the back of my mind for some time. I wanted to write very discreet movements which explored in each, just one overriding idea; something simple, but rich that could provide a guiding force for both the head and the heart. I also thought that in each piece I could set up a number of different challenges for the players. I choose a selection of pictures which would form a set. They are nearly all connected by the themes of water and sky, but their individual settings are diverse. I have tried not to make a literal representation of each picture, aiming at something more subliminal. The series of movements could be seen as a collection of dream worlds. The movements are named after the prints which inspired them: Fluorescent Sea, Butterflies, Three Worlds and House of Stairs.

First Performance: CoMA Summer School Wind Ensemble, Aug 1996, Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire


COMA (with funds from the Arts Council of England)


score & parts

Sorry, Not Available


10m 00s




Wind Ensemble


3 fl, 2 ob, 4 cl, ssax, asax, tsax, barsax, 2 bn, 2 hn, 2 tpt, trb, tuba


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