Auguries for orchestra

I wrote “Auguries” for the London Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their Leverhulme Young Composers’ Scheme 2012/13. It was premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

While writing the piece, I found myself obsessing over an eight-note melody that I couldn’t get out of, or move on from, in any way except to repeat it, again and again. In the end, my inspiration for how to proceed came from William Blake’s poem ‘Auguries of Innocence’, and its opening lines “To see the world in a grain of sand/And heaven in a wild flower”. Rather than moving away from my initial idea, I saw it as the seed which contained all the musical material that I needed for the rest of the piece. As the melody repeats, it accrues extra layers surrounding it, growing in complexity until it is lost in the layers of melody that surround it.

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