Universal Edition - Luke Bedford – By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold

Luke Bedford
By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold

Year of composition: 2008
Scored for: for 18 players
Composer: Luke Bedford
Instrumentation: 1 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 0 - perc(2), pno, vln(2), vla, vc(2), cb
Instrumentation details:
flute (+picc)
1st clarinet in Eb (+cl in Eb)
2nd clarinet in A (+cl in Eb)
bassoon (+cbsn)
horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
1st percussion
2nd percussion
1st violin
2nd violin
1st violoncello
2nd violoncello
Commissioned by: Auftragswerk von Ensemble Modern und Siemens Arts Program für das Projekt "into..." /
Commissioned by Ensemble Modern and Siemens Arts Program for the project "into..."
Duration: 17′
Please check your input!

  • Bedford Luke

  • By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold

  • (deliveryaddress if different)

  • What kind of material would you like to order?
    (Eg: piano reduction)
Request material on perusal Request performance material Licensing Request

Audio Excerpt

By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on ...

World Première

Location: Konzerthaus Berlin / Germany
Date: 06.03.2009
Orchestra: Ensemble Modern
Conductor: Sian Edwards

Work Introduction

I was very unsure about how I was going to approach this piece. Having been given the task of capturing the 'essence' of Johannesburg, it took me a long time to work out what my response to being in the city for a month would be.* The piece, I felt from quite early on, had to be lively and energetic and full of contrasts if I was going to reflect something of the pace of the city. I also knew that it would not have a happy ending - given what people had told me about their hopes for the future in Jo’burg.

When working on a composition, I often give myself a few little rules. They act as guides to keep me focused. So here, for example, I decided that the percussion would consist entirely of untuned instruments, and that they would be almost entirely metallic. These instruments, which are often scraped, seemed to be close to some of the actual sounds you can hear in Johannesburg every day. It reminds me of all the metal in the city: in the cars and taxis; in the wire and electric fences; and even of the gold under the ground.

The title refers to the afternoon I spent on the deserted Top Star Drive-In Cinema, which is built on a 50 metre mine dump, from where there are remarkable views over the centre of the city to the north, or Soweto to the west. The mixture of the stunning panorama across the city – showing all its wealth and poverty, viewed from a run-down car park where people lived in little houses behind the cinema screen, with traces of gold literally beneath their feet –   seemed to me to sum up so much about the city.

Luke Bedford


*Luke Bedford, along with 15 other composers from around the world, had been invited to take part in the music project into… organised by Ensemble Modern and the Siemens Arts Program (in collaboration with the Goethe Institute). Starting in February 2008, into… represented an attempt to convey the essence of a city in music. For this, four groups of four composers spent a month each in one of four megalopolises – Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg and Pearl River Delta – composing a work for Ensemble Modern based on their experiences.

Selected editions are available on sale on request.

By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold

3 Ensembles that have played this work:

Shipping costs

We are happy to offer the following shipping methods for your order:

Standard Post 1–3 working days EUR 3.00
Economy Airmail 6–10 working days EUR 9.95
World (i.e. outside Europe)*   
Economy Airmail 10–15 working days EUR 14.95
Standard Airmail 5–10 working days EUR 19.95

* While we send your music as quickly as possible (usually by the next day), we unfortunately do not have any influence on the time it takes your music to reach you. The further you are away from our warehouse in Germany, the longer your music will take to reach you. From experience, that can take a couple of weeks to the USA and three or even four to Asia and South America.