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The creative impetus for this work comes from two sources. The first is a painting by the Dadaist artist Jean Arp entitled Leaves and Navels 1 from which my work takes its title. This painting has a uniform colour of a gentle pastel shade, and its surface is disrupted by sensuous relief shapes recalling organic forms. I wanted to echo this musically by having a seemingly uniform and calm emotional surface which is periodically disrupted by more direct and profound emotional statements.
The other source of inspiration is the Joyceian stream-of-consciousness idea, with its musical parallels found in pieces by Berio and Zimmermann. In my piece, the first third consists of a series of seemingly unrelated yet personally significant ideas which move easily from one to another. As the work progresses, these are then 'recalled' and developed, as if being looked at more closely, giving opportunity for greater emotional scope and depth.