On a clear day you can see...

Length / year

5' - 2004


violin, clarinet and cello

Programme note

In 1999 I began writing a work inspired by the paintings of Catrin Webster under the title 'Transports'. The instrumentation was identical to Messiaen’s 'Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps' - Violin, Cello, Clarinet and Piano - and like that work the piece was in several sections composed for different combinations of the four instruments. A set of modal chords, 36 in all, unified the structure of the different movements, making the work, in effect, a set of variations.

Composition of 'Transports' continued over a period of time and several sketches remained after the initial set of pieces were completed. Three of these sketches became the 'Three Mobiles' for saxophone and piano/string orchestra. Also set to one side was an advanced sketch which has now become 'On a clear day you can see...' .

This is a undemonstrative piece for violin, cello and clarinet based on fluid legato lines passed between the three instruments. Its principal characteristics are clarity of texture and simplicity. Myles Pepper is such a wonderful supporter of artists and young people through the ArtsWave project linking West Wales and Ireland that I decided to complete the piece and offer it to him as a gift. To understand the title fully, merely add the Christian name of the dedicatee to it!