Luke Bedford: Unconformities

Luke Bedford Unconformities

Luke Bedford: Unconformities

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for saxophone quartet
Luke Bedford
Instrumentation details:
soprano saxophone in Bb
alto saxophone in Eb
tenor saxophone in Bb
baritone saxophone in Eb
Commissioned by Lake District Summer Music with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England to mark the joint 30th anniversaries of LDSM and the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, and first performed by the ASQ at Kendal Town Hall on Tuesday 4 August 2015.
Happy 30th birthday to the Apollo Saxophone Quartet and Lake District Summer Music
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Work introduction

“We felt ourselves necessarily carried back to the time when the schistus on which we stood was yet at the bottom of the sea… Revolutions still more remote appeared in the distance of this extraordinary perspective. The mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time; and while we listened with earnestness and admiration to the philosopher who was now unfolding to us the order and series of these wonderful events, we became sensible how much farther reason may sometimes go than imagination can venture to follow.” (John Playfair; description of James Hutton’s trip to Siccar Point, Scotland, 1788)

Unconformity is a geological term for a discontinuity resulting in the juxtaposition of vastly different ages of rock.

In this piece I wanted to achieve a similar effect: musics of seemingly different ages which are smashed together; a volatile structure; not a smooth flow of time, but battered, broken history.

I was keen to take advantage of the saxophone’s agility and large dynamic range. To some extent, the broken-up structure of the piece grew out of this desire.

Two of the saxophones are tuned a quarter-tone down, adding an inbuilt tension into the ensemble. This opens up a wide range of expression; from harsh and angular to calm, strange beauty.

Luke Bedford

Special prints


Luke Bedford: Unconformities

for saxophone quartet , 12’


Luke Bedford: Unconformities

set of parts
for saxophone quartet , 12’

World première

Kendal Town Hall, Kendal (GB)
Apollo Saxophone Quartet

Other works

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