A series of fragments in search of a centre. Some may be quite familiar in shape, two or three are actual quotations. Other fragments recollect less – as though the piece is a musical equivalent of a painting bordering the figurative and abstract. Gradually the piece moves toward a point of tranquillity. Such territory of allusion and memory has been of particular interest to me for some time now. And, increasingly explicitly, so too has the desire to write music that, as Cage put it, ‘sobers the mind’. The title of the piece refers to a remote and very serene region of Cornwall.
Roseland was commissioned by Elizabeth Jacobs for the Cheltenham Music Festival 2008. Its first performance was given by Robin Michael and Huw Watkins in the Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham on the 18th of July, 2008.