Revolution

2005

For: violin and bass clarinet
Duration: 4 minutes

Revolution was written for Julia Munn and Oliver Butterworth for a tour of Argentina they were planning in 2005. They asked several composers to write tangos for them and this was my response to the challenge. The piece takes my usual compositional ideas, a fully chromatic tonal language and strong melodic lines, as a starting point and mixes them with some dance patterns and a dash of machismo. This was partly intended to capture the spirit of the tango and partly a gentle joke at Oliver's expense; he is one of the least macho men I know. Alongside the music are instructions for actions the players should take while performing the piece. They describe a sort of courtship ritual interspersed with episodes of narcissistic soloing. The opening instruction is: 'con molto machismo. Vln to play in highest possible position at all times. Molto vibrato e portamento. BCl to have a rich and seductive tone'.