Phillips, Sheena

About the work

The piece is an attempt to portray the British referendum on membership of the European Union in June, 2016. In the opening sections, the High 1 and Medium parts represent the “remain” camp. Their theme is derived from the notes that “EUROPE” spells out if you imagine extending the alphabet along the white notes of a piano beyond the first A through G. Another motif based around E and C (for European Community) also plays a part. The High 2 and Low parts represent the “leave” camp – punchier and bolder from the outset, and growing more so with time. Their main theme is derived partly from a conjunction of car horn notes that I happened to hear one morning, and the GDBB motif comes from the notes that “UKIP” (UK Independence Party, one of the louder voices in favour of “leave”) spells out on the imaginary alphabet piano described above. Perhaps what remains with me most strongly about the whole event was the emotional aftershock of the Brexit vote – a sense of teetering at the edge of some yawing void, and/or of being catapulted into unknown and uncharted territory – and a sense also of grief at the sudden departure from the world as we thought we knew it. Yes, I voted “remain” – and this piece is written from that perspective – but I hope some of the drama feels true to onlookers from both sides of the divide. Sheena Phillips


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score & parts


Sample score



6m 00s




Flexible Ensemble
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