One Minute

Craig Armstrong (1958)

One Minute 2005

3333 - 6331 - timp - perc(4) - hp - pno(kybd) - strings (14.12.10.8.6)
Duration 
15
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

When first approached by Horsecross to create a work for the new Perth Concert Hall we were excited by the idea of working together. Our practices though diverse in nature and scale had shared areas of interest. We had long discussions about the form that the work should take. From here the idea of one minute pieces with both pictures and music existing within their own time and space fell into place.

In contemporary life there is a perception that time and space are being constantly compressed. This is an idea that fascinated us. In a curious way the Japanese haiku poem reflects this wonderfully: the discipline and economy of three lines that refuse to hint at a final meaning, that mean nothing beyond themselves, yet the reader can plunge into infinite depths within its short lines. This was how the filming of the cloud sequences for this piece was treated.

It was vitally important to the work that the visual and musical elements were intrinsically connected. Sounds recorded with each film are used in the musical composition; sometimes these are manipulated electronically, other times used as found.

A major part of composing One Minute was how the individual parts would combine together. For this, each of the minute pieces has a strict harmonic plan starting from Knoydart which begins with a pentatonic scale (5 notes) adding one note for each movement; eventually Crimond uses all 12 notes of the chromatic scale. From here each movement decreases one note at a time returning to Perth and back to the pentatonic scale. The piece therefore is in an arch form from tonality through chromaticism back to tonality. Visually and musically the piece is complimented by nature.

Craig Armstrong, Dalziel + Scullion

Performances 
16.9.05 Horsecross, Perth Concert Hall, Scotland: Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Garry Walker
26.6.08 Festival Saint Denis, Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis, Paris: Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France/Garry Walker
3
Flute
3rd doubling piccolo
3
Oboe
3rd doubling cor anglais
3
Clarinet
3
Bassoon
6
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
4
Percussion
14
Violin
12
Violin II
10
Viola
8
Cello
6
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
doubling keyboard
(Esc)