Abigail’s Jig, op. 10 no. 2h Arranged in 2014 for the Ellis Ensemble, this lively piece was first performed by them in Chichester Cathedral. It was composed in 1980, originally for flute and piano, to celebrate the birth of Abby, the composer’s daughter. The piece attempts to capture the atmosphere of an Irish jig as played by a piper, with a harmonically straightforward piano part, which uses a mixture of ‘vamping’ and melodic imitation of the woodwind parts. The introduction is intended to be humorous and rather musically misleading, openly parodying the ‘cowboy’ music of Aaron Copland. Modal harmony helps to create the mood of pseudo-folk music.
Cantilena, Op. 11f Cantilena tries to capture a popular flavour, borrowing freely from pop and jazz styles: primary and secondary chords are used in arpeggiated piano figures, as mainstream ballads might do; pedal notes are a feature, especially on the tonic note; and a ‘bluesy’ style emerges in the third main theme. A pseudo-rock style is twice used in the climax section, which acts as a song-like chorus. Cantilena is in the key of D flat major overall, but even the introduction uses ‘wrong note’ harmony (notably flattened sevenths) to produce ambiguous tonality. The piece demonstrates a range of tone colour for both clarinet and bassoon across a wide melodic range. Written originally for alto sax in 1987, the piece was arranged for the Ellis Ensemble in 2014.
Five Short Pieces, Op. 9c Arranged in 2016, these five pieces are elaborate transcriptions of To One (1985), five songs to poems by Christina Rees, which convey the countless moods associated with a relationship.