Suite for Recorder Orchestra
Story behind the piece:
At the suggestion of Dennis Bamforth, who used to conduct the Manchester Recorder Orchestra, I wrote this suite for them. It has since been played by them and by various other recorder orchestras in the UK and Germany, but the London Recorder Orchestra has provided the best recording so far. The movements are based on melodies and songs I have written relating to various places and friends:
Meinau Rag - my first venture in ragtime writing) was originally a guitar and violin piece written in La Meinau, near Strasbourg, where I lived in 1976. (There is also a recent, more upbeat, arrangement for flute, double bass and guitar.)
Amble round Mercury refers to the statue of Mercury in the pond in Tom Quad at Christ Church, where I was studying in the 1970s and uses an ambling ostinato which often recurs in my music. (Religious memories too convoluted to describe!)
Pretty How Town is based on the rhythms of a poem by e e cummings (anyone lived in a pretty how town with up so floating many bells down . . . .New: I have now made a video of the original song on this poem here.)
. . . I like to think that Aldgate in London, where I lived in the 1980s, could have been described as such (at a stretch!!)
Landscape before sunrise also comes from my Aldgate East period and describes the view from my 18th floor balcony overlooking Mile End. The melody is based on the greeting "Goodnight" as spoken in various different languages.
Little Laser Lady is based on the rhythms of a poem by Mark Haviland, written for the love of his life. The Laser is an Australian car of course - but you knew that, didn't you?! The poem begins "She is the sun in the afternoon, She is the night's familiar"
Full score and parts (pdf) available from here: Suite for Recorder Orchestra
Performance by the London Recorder Orchestra
Performance by Manchester Recorder Orchestra (February 2015)