Light Music

Buy the Diversity - Amrywiaeth CD

Length / year

12' - 1997


piano - four hands


The title Light Music ironically refers to a general sense of ‘lightness of being’, and while John Metcalf casts a spell of classically transparent, bright and rhythmic music over its 11 minutes, the composition is serious in intent. There are five variations here, which run continuously and have a refined sense of continuity. As a welcome mat for the rest of the programme, this is an invitation which is very hard to resist indeed.
MusicWeb International Dominy Clements 2007

Performance history

First performance
Powis Hall, Bangor
13th November 1997
Helen and Harvey Davies - piano duet

(Two sections of the work recorded for S4C documentary)
January 1998

London Premiere
British Music Information Centre
21st May 1998
Helen and Harvey Davies - piano duet

Italian Premiere
Musica Experimenta Roma (date TBC)
1st January 1999

French Premiere
Centre Culturel Gerard Philipe, Calais
15th December 2000
Francoise Choveaux and Anne Jomin - two pianos

Irish Premiere
Waterford Institute of Technology
1st February 2001
Helen and Harvey Davies - piano duet

Programme note

'Light Music' was commissioned by Helen and Harvey Davies with funds made available by the Arts Council of Wales and by the University College of North Wales, Bangor. The first performance was at the Powis Hall, Bangor on 13th November 1997.

Though the work is predominantly bright and rhythmic, the title is ironic. There is a serious of purpose here and the 'lightness' is only superficial - a 'lightness of being'. Musically the piece is a set of variations, five in all and 'classical' in the sense that each one simply decorates a basic chord structure which is unchanged throughout. The conception was very swift. I felt I knew in a day or two what I wanted to do and how the piece should work out. Then it was a question of writing the notes down. That process happened in May and June 1997, the idea for the piece having taken shape the previous November. It is played without a break and there are many musical devices incorporated - for example, canons and palindromes. A lot of my music ends quietly so I set myself the challenge of writing a loud ending.