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Commissioning Judith Weir

Last year we were fortunate enough to receive funding to commission Judith Weir’s ‘Sundew’ a short miniature duo written as part of TRANSPLANTED. For our 2nd year of the residency project EMS have given us the opportunity to progress this relationship further through the creation of a more substantial and extended piece for violin and cello duo.

We are delighted that Judith is keen to work with us again. The ideas we shared with her are below.

While most humans are diurnal, for various personal and social/cultural reasons some people are temporarily or habitually nocturnal.

Nocturnal creatures generally have highly developed senses of hearing, smell, and specially adapted eyesight.

The framework

We would like to create a concert programme inspired by the night. Music and lighting will be used to evoke different atmospheres, and for the audience it will be an opportunity to experience how their senses respond, develop and change to sound in a space of changing light and dark.

The ‘concert’ will take place quite late at night 9 or 10pm, in a very dark space, probably quite small, intimate and maybe not a ‘classical music venue’ where we are able to manipulate the light levels and also play with different lighting effects. We will work with a lighting artist/ designer to achieve this.

The music will last for about 45 mins with the whole piece to be performed without break or applause. The length of your work Judith is to be around 15 minutes I believe? The rest of the programme will consist of other music or maybe even silence with changing light effects.

Judith you mentioned the idea when we first met of movements of your commission being interspersed with other repertoire that we were playing. This could work well in this context, although it would also be good if it also works as a piece that we can perform on it’s own.

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