Perpetual Becomings, after Gormley

for solo flute and ensemble

Emma-Ruth Richards

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for solo flute and ensemble

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Composer Emma-Ruth Richards
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.9'
Forces fl, cl, hp, pf, strings (
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-err1pbag1


Some of the initial creative and structural concepts for Perpetual Becomings came from studying Antony Gormley’s Expansion Field, a work consisting of 60 individual sculptures / boxes, fabricated from Corten steel, that evoke the unstable place of the body as an architectural field: 60 cases for darkness, or night, each derived from the volumes of his body but translated into the geometry of architecture.

In writing Perpetual Becomings I have attempted to use the solo flute line to replicate this incremental expansion of breath / displacement of space and in doing so imitate Gormley’s ‘volumes of night placed in light’; throughout the piece the flute line travels through seven ‘fields’ that each have their own unique expansion capacity. Instead of building the structure of the piece to the same disciplined spatial arrangement found in Gormley’s work I have worked quite freely with these ‘fields’ to create a more cyclical design to the piece so the music is full of recurring motifs and interval patterns that, like breathing, remain the same but are yet constantly changing and evolving, sometimes subtly, sometimes significantly.

There are also two ‘goals’ in this piece: the first is a search for a tonal centre or resting place and the second is for the core of the melody itself, the arrival of which is delayed until the close of the piece. Similar to Gormley’s work, I imagine that the listener will experience this piece in an entirely subjective manner.

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