I began work on The Ground in the spring/summer of 2017, around the time when we were expecting the arrival of our second daughter. During a visit to the antenatal clinic I heard her heartbeats for the first time - incredibly fast and almost violent in their energy. Those heartbeats with all their potential as yet unleashed, drive the first half of this piece.
The voice that you can hear at the start and end is that of Robert Urquhart Brown (1906 - 1972), a renowned piper and piobaireachd player as well as an exponent of canntaireachd singing, the oral tradition of teaching the Ceol Mór (Big Music), as it is known. The recording was made towards the end of his days, and it is imbued with a rich sense of retrospective satisfaction at a life well lived.
The music of The Ground is essentially a mensural canon; the same tune at different speeds heard across a plethora of different voices.