Mountains Blue Like Sea

Listen to preview (or download) on iTunes

Buy the Paradise Haunts... CD

Length / year

14' - 1996



Performance history

World Premiere
North Wales Music Festival
17th September 1996
Lowri Blake - cello
Iwan Llewellyn-Jones - piano

BBC Radio 3
2nd September 1997
Richard May - cello
Frances Angell - piano

Programme note

This work is a companion to several pieces of mine of the same period, notably 'Rest in Reason, Move in Passion' for violin, cello and piano and 'Paradise Haunts . . .' for violin and piano.

Like these two works it is a continuous work in a single movement in variation form using very simple and contained musical means - in this case a descending series of bass notes G/F/E/D with only 'white-note' harmony throughout. Despite this simplicity the writing for the cello is at times virtuosic. I acknowledge the generous help I received from cellists Laura Schlesinger and Lowri Blake in writing some of the more technical passages.

The title of the work is drawn from a chinese poem yet refers more directly in my mind to the beautiful 'blue' colour of fields and hills in summer in Wales. The work was written during the summer months of 1996 both in the UK and during a month-long stay in the Rocky Mountains in Canada. In its serenity and tranquillity it aims to evoke the quiet and hazy beauty of these and other summer days.

'Mountains Blue Like Sea' was commissioned by the North Wales Music Festival with funds made available by the Arts Council of Wales.