Standstill was written alongside two other works for large ensembles written between November 2009 and January 2010. Although not intended as a set, these three works are very closely related in their approach to structure, harmony and orchestral colour. Standstill was the third of these three, the first being Percolation for large orchestra which was performed and recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the BB Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff on the 29th of January 2010. The second piece, called Footfall, was commissioned by Ty Cerdd and will be premiered by the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales on their 2010 Easter Tour at Bangor University (3rd of April) and the William Aston Hall in Wrexham (4th of April).
Standstill explores colour within this small ensemble which has been whittled down. The decision to remove instruments was made to improve the characteristic colours of individual wind instruments. This also enabled me to have a small choir made from the members of the orchestra who are not playing their usual instrument. Although initially simple, the colour, harmony and tension gradually build’s to the first of two climaxes. The harmony is then thrown in a new direction which culminates in the second climax. The music then disintegrates into the mellow closure of the piece.
Open Score RAM student 2010
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