My initial concern with this
piece was how I could translate, into music, the subtle shifts of mood and
atmosphere in Glyn Maxwell's text. For virtually two-thirds of the piece the
music is dominated by the sound of a repeated G. It acts as a continuous linking
device, whilst around it ideas develop, decay or return. So with the repeated G
acting as a pivot point, I could move almost instantaneously from, for example,
a moment of sombre reflection to more active material, but without the change
seeming too abrupt. The repeated G is never entirely regular – sometimes it
arrives fractionally earlier or later than expected. And it is almost never on
the conductor's beat – so there is a constant tension between the ensemble's
downbeat and the pulsed G. It is only at the main climax of the piece where
this repeated G's hold over the music finally breaks down.
All three singers have dual
roles in this piece. They act together, especially at the opening, as a chorus
of 'creatures'. The soprano has her own part as Eve, the tenor as Adam, and the
mezzo as a single „creature“. I wanted to help show the contrasts between the
voices, by writing for each of them in a different way. So again, the pivot
note G acts as a stabilising force, while around it the voices move between
lyrical and more detached methods of singing.
As far as the ensemble's sound
goes, I opted for the lower, darker tones of the alto flute, cor anglais, bass
clarinet and bassoon. For the most part I didn't want the ensemble to be too
bright and dominant over the voices. The sounds of the plucked string
instruments, the harp and guitar, are also important. The piece lasts about fourteen minutes.