for 7 instrumentalists

Richard Whalley

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for 7 instrumentalists

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Composer Richard Whalley
Year of Composition 2015
Duration 14'-15'
ISMN 9790570682249
Forces fl/picc, cl/bcl, perc, pf, vln, vla, vc
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rw1w1


Whilst the irresistible fantasy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, with its wormholes and alternative realities can be seen as a metaphor for the workings of this piece, the title’s real meaning is to invite wonder at the miracle of our earth, our soil, which sustains us and makes life possible. I am deeply concerned by mankind’s current obsession with short-term gain at the expense of the natural environment, and sincerely hope future generations will do a better job of looking after our wonderland than we are managing at present.

This piece is like a garden, and pays homage to the Giardino Religioso by Bruno Maderna. Some parts of the garden are more wild and chaotic, where beauty stems from constantly evolving combinations of shapes and textures. Elsewhere clearer patterns emerge. Gradual changes in atmosphere, in lighting, in the circulation of air can be perceived when walking from one area to another; sometimes birds may be hear calling from above. Above all, a garden is a wonderful place to become lost in one’s thoughts.

This piece was commissioned by the Concorso Nutrire La Musica for the Expo Milano 2015, and was premiered by Divertimento Ensemble in May 2015. It is dedicated to my father, Leslie Whalley, who (along with my mother) nourished my musical education throughout my childhood, and actively supported all my musical activities since then. For this, I will always be grateful.

Performed here by Psappha