At the Speed of Stillness

Charlotte Bray (1982)

At the Speed of Stillness 2011-2012

4343 - 4331 - timp - perc(4) - harp - piano - strings (16.14.12.10.8)
Duration 
11
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

Dedicated to Mark-Anthony Turnage, At The Speed of Stillness derives part of its inspiration in a surrealist poem by Dora Maar:

I rested in the arms of my arms
I no longer slept
It was night in the summer,
winter in the day
An eternal shivering of thoughts
Fear love fear love
Close the window open the window
You’ll see you’ll see
The hummingbird motionless as a star.

The energy, sense of endless movement and of exhaustion encapsulated in the poem permeates the music. Important also is the play with paradoxical ideas- the contrary notion that something moving quicker than the human eye is able to detect can appear to be motionless or still.

Harnessed to this ‘energetic charge’ in the work are expressions of ideas that resulted from contemplation of Sizewell Power Station and the power lines stemming from it, which the composer drew on as a source of inspiration. Mesmerised by the relentlessness of the structures, the restless shifts in perspective as you chase the power source across the countryside. The constant duality of the power lines, an underlying energy- hidden and intimate almost, yet zinging with immense power and force.

Charlotte Bray

Performances 
29.7.12 BBC Proms, London: Aldeburgh World Orchestra/Mark Elder
21.7.14 Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, USA: Tanglewood Festival Orchestra/Karina Canellakis
4
Flute
3
Oboe
4
Clarinet
3
Bassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
4
Percussion
16
Violin
14
Violin II
12
Viola
10
Cello
8
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
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