Tansy Davies (1973)

Residuum 2005

Two solo violins, a solo cello and strings

I began the process of writing ‘Residuum’ by looking at a much earlier piece of music- Dowland’s ‘Galliard to Lachrymae’- and I wanted somehow to make an imprint of this piece on the one I was about the compose. Much of ‘Residuum’ is made up of what I think of as being my own ‘medieval dances’ made up of musical material taken from the Dowland. This is altered rhythmically and then set into sometimes quite complex counterpoint often involving two or three different tempi or pulses going on at the same time. The brightness of these dances is countered by slow moving passages and chords which hover over the piece like a ghost of the Dowland. The two types of energy- bright and dark- are mainly heard in stark juxtaposition but a solo cello passage links the two worlds by playing brittle and ethereal fragmants from one of the dances above a dark chorale. Ghost hunters often talk about finding residual energy in old buildings; past events are replayed in the present as a result of energy being retained by the building. ‘Residuum’ is an imaginary replay the residual energy of Dowland’s ‘Galliard to Lachrymae’, heard like an echo of ancient music in a modern time.

Tansy Davies

8.11.04 Stratford-upon- Avon: Orchestra of the Swan/David Curtis
14.11.10 Portsmouth Cathedral: London Mozart Players