Dances from Forgotten Places


Length / year

17' - 1999

Instrumentation

String Orch. min. 6/4/3/2/1

Performance history

First Performance
Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon, Wales
27th February 1999
European Union Chamber Orchestra

First London Performance
St. John's Smith Square, London
7th September 1999
Riga Kammermusiki

Programme note (English)

The 'forgotten places' of the title are imaginary. For me they are aesthetic areas, artistic characteristics infrequently visited by or associated with contemporary music. Words like grace, elegance, charm, formality, wit, sentiment or frivolity might describe some of them. I have inscribed each dance to a friend where the music seems to me to reflect in some way an aspect of their personality. This is in gratitude for their support and encouragement.

There are six dances, five fast and one slow, played without a break and with a 'symphonic' structure; a set of variations built on a simple series of three bass notes. They are cast within a single mode (as for the key of D major) and have pandiatonic 'white-note' harmony throughout. So within the fifteen minute span there is no chromatic change. The textures of the piece have a rich, chamber music feel to them with sometimes as many as nine parts. The piece may be played by as few as nine players and up to a large string orchestra.

Titles of the sections are:

Dance with Stylised Steps (MKS)

Calypso (EB)

Healing dance (DWE)

Graceful dance (LE)

Frolic (D)

Stick dance (GMM)

'Dances from Forgotten Places' was commissioned by the European Union Chamber Orchestra with funds made available by the Arts Council of Wales and the Guild for Promotion of Welsh Music.

Programme note (Welsh)

Mae'r 'llefydd anghofiedig' yn y teitl yn ddychmygus. I mi, maent yn ardaloedd eshetig, cymeriadau artistig sydd yn derbyn ymweliad anaml gan neu perhtynas a cherddoriaeth gyfoes. Byddai geiriau fel gosgeiddrwydd,ceinder,swyn, ffurfioldeb,teimlad neu wamalrwydd yn disgrifio rhai ohonynt efallai. Rwyf wedi cyflwyno pob dawns i ffrind mae'r gerddoriaeth yn awgrymu rhyw agwedd o'u personoliaeth i mi. Mae hyn fel diolch am eu cefnogaeth a'u hanogaeth.

Mae yna chwe dawns, pump cyflym ac un araf a chawareir heb doriad ond gyda fframwaith 'symffonig' ; cyfres o amrywiaethau wedi'u seilio ar gyfres syml o dri nodyn bas. Maent o fewn un modd (fel sydd ar gyfer D mwyaf) gyda chynghanedd pandiatonic 'nodau gwyn' drwyddi. Nid oes unrhyw newid cromatig o fewn rhychwant pymtheg munud felly Cyffansoddwyd Dawnsfeydd o Lefydd Anghofiedig i'w berfformio heb arweinydd. Mae teimlad cyfoethog, tebyg i gerddoriaeth siambr yn perthyn i weadau'r gwaith, gyda hyd at naw o rannau mewn rhai llefydd. Gellir perfformio'r darn gyda chyn lleied a naw chwaraewr neu gerddorfa linynnol fawr.

Enwir yr adrannau fel a ganlyn:

Dawnsfeydd gyda chamau nodweddiadol (MKS)

Calypso (EB)

Dawns iachad (DWE)

Dawns raslon (LE)

Pranc (D)

Dawns y ffon (GMM)

Comisiynwyd Dawnsfeydd o Lefydd Anghofiedig gan Gerddorfa Siambr yr Undeb Ewropeaidd gyda nawdd ariannol gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru a'r Urdd er Hyrwyddo Cerddoriaeth Gymreig.