Pilgrim of Curiosity

for wind quintet

Oliver Iredale Searle

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Composer Oliver Iredale Searle
Year of Composition 2014
Duration ca.36'
Instrumentation Flute, Oboe/Cor Anglais, Clarinet In Bb, Horn In F, Bassoon
Categories (all composers) , , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-os1poc1

Notes

There are no foreign lands; it is the traveller only who is foreign, and now and again, by a flash of recollection, lights up the contrasts of the ear.

Robert Louis Stevenson; Silverado Squatters

My wife and I made a hobby of travelling to places we had never been before, before our son arrived in 2013. Over the course of 10 years of trips to various cities, we visited hundreds of religious buildings. Although I am not a spiritual person, I am endlessly attracted to visiting places of worship wherever I have been in the world, and consider it an instant view of the culture of a city (or country) and its people. I am also constantly amazed by the sacrifice that people have made to realise these structures (in terms of time, finance and effort), and am often left with feelings of awe and wonderment at the results of this labour of spiritual love and devotion to faith. In a sleepdeprived state, not long after my son had arrived into the world, I began to reminisce about a trip we had taken to Venice several years ago, during which we visited San Giorgio Maggiore by vaporetto (waterbus); this small island consists solely of a church, monastery, and garden, with an open air theatre. My mind began to mix up other journeys across water I have taken, each ending at some of the more surreal and exotic places of worship that we visited. This piece explores some of these amalgamations of culture, through a number of musical memories and references, in six distinct movements (which can be played individually, or in any order):

Orthodox: Kintyre fishing boat to St Cyril and Methodius Serbian Orthodox Church, Ljubljana

Millport Godzilla: Staten Island Ferry to Cathedral of the Isles, Cumbrae

Blue Benedictine: Chicago River Tour to the church of San Miniato al Monte, in Florence

Regeren: Rhubodach Ferry (Isle of Bute), to St Bavo’s Cathedral, Haarlem, Netherlands

Illinois Acceptance: Englischer Garten Pleasure-boat to Baha’i Temple, in Illinois (An arrangement of the final movement of String Quartet No.1, by Erwin Schulhoff)

Waverley Dawn: Waverley Steamer to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Thailand

나 무 (Namu): Clyde waterbus from the Broomielaw (Glasgow), to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, South Korea

Selamat Tinggal: Kerrera Speedboat to the Masjid Jamek mosque in Kuala Lumpur

Commissioned by Enterprise Music Scotland, with funds from Creative Scotland, for Athenaeum Winds. First performed in October, 2014, in collaboration with Trent Kim (light artist).