Upflight of Butterflies
2008 (rev. 2016)
Instrumentation flute/piccolo, clarinet, piano, violin, ‘cello
First Performance 12 May 2016, Melbourne Recital Centre, Australia; Syzygy Ensemble
Commissioned (in its’ original version with viola) by Britten Sinfonia
21.05.17 Cornwall, UK; Kevos, Patrick Bailey conductor *UK Première*
26.09.19 St Michael’s, Manchester, UK; Psappha Ensemble
4.11.19 Ithaca College School of Music, US; Lucia Barrero violin, Claire Park flute, Amy Zuidema clarinet, Benjamin Stayner cello, Daniel Herbener piano, Andrew Kim conductor *US Première*
22.11.19 Klangbrücke Aachen, Germany; Neue Musik Ensemble Aachen *German Première*
Revised version of Alliance, which was commissioned by Britten Sinfonia in 2008 for their lunchtime series.
Inspiration grew from vivid and distinct images of natural light in various forms: sunlight burning through dense clouds, piercing glimpses of blinding light catching your eye as you rush through the air.
Neruda’s poem ‘Alliance (Sonata)’, from the collection ‘Residence on Earth’, also had a significant impact on the work. Perhaps representing Neruda’s feelings of isolation and alienation from the world around him; he searches through his physical environment for something or someone to connect with. Upflight of Butterflies centres on contrasts of bleak and uplifting characters, reflecting highs and lows of an emotionally unstable personality. Energised by Neruda’s imagery, words from the poem were taken to inspire each movement. The idea of partnership within the ensemble was powerful in structuring the work. Who is in alliance with who?