This is where the collaboration with Nigel Clarke began. I went up to him in the RAM canteen, and told him that he was going to write a string ensemble piece. We were both equally excited about the possibilities of divided strings, so the resulting piece was scored for 7 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos and double bass. This fascination has remained; all of the succeeding string ensemble works Nigel has written for me since, use similar configurations. What has moved, has my awareness of the colouristic possibilities of individual instruments. The sheer power of the opening still shakes me-7 violins go to war, attacked by the violas, celli and bass. We will be recording this piece this autumn, with Longbow, the string ensemble Nigel and a dreamt up on a chilly morning in Kosovo, a few years ago.
Nigel Clarke-‘Parnassus’ (1987)Parnassus Ensemble (Director-Peter Sheppard Skaerved)