A thought of falling (2017)
Western Standard Notation | A4 size (21 x 29.7cm) | Chamber Ensemble | c14'00''
About
Instrumentation: Clarinet in Bb | Violin | Cello | Vibraphone
Premiere: Unperformed

Written as commission for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Composition Club prize (2017), A thought of falling is a chamber quartet inspired by the sea-cliffs under Dunstanburgh Castle, in Northumberland, UK. The work features extensive microtonal (1/4-tone) technique for the clarinet, suggested fingerings for which are given in an appendix. An extract from the programme note/foreword to the piece reads as follows:

"The foot of the sea-cliff under Dunstanburgh Castle – the building itself decaying majestically – is a place of dark beauty. Columns of ash-coloured rock,peppered with green moss and the white of birds, cascade from the ruin to the blue-grey water beneath. Even against the vastness of the sky, the cliffs stand firm – a sheer wall of rock braced against the sea. At dawn through the mist, the cliffs emerge slowly, as if the sun were gradually drawing them upwards, rock by rock."

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© 2020 Henry McPherson