Phillip Neil Martin Stilled...(2006)
For piano quartet
Stilled…Was primarily influenced by the differences between the Japanese writing system of characters placed in vertical columns moving from right to left and the Western writing system of characters written in a horizontal line moving from left to right. The foundation of the work is preoccupied with the coming together of Western linear concepts of time and Eastern cyclic time, the assumed stasis where the two concepts converge and the bending of time. The piece plays with dense verticals and sustained textures moving in opposition to horizontal running lines underpinned by polarised 'aksak' pulsations.
The motivic building blocks of the piece are formed from a gagaku melody (traditional Japanese Court music) with the harmony made from warped versions of traditional sho harmony and bell-like resonances.
Stilled...falls into two parts of unequal length containing seven movements that are played without a break.
The score is prefaced by a fragment from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem Guinevere:“But after tempest…..there came a day as still as heaven”. The work is dedicated to Grandma, in loving memory.
© Philip Neil Martin
Stilled…(2006) was commissioned by Bromsgrove Concerts and first performed by the Schubert Enemble at Artrix, Bromsgrove on 15th March 2006.