From the Innermost Places

solo cello
2022

Duration 6’
Instrumentation cello
First Performance 24 June 2022, Aldeburgh Festival, UK; Anssi Karttunen
Written for Anssi Karttunen, in loving memory of Oliver Knussen
Charlotte has a worldwide, exclusive publishing agreement with Birdsong
Purchase Materials

Few people, who find success in their work, achieve it without the help of others. As a mentor to me, Olly was a genuine gift; one for which I remain eternally grateful. Even now, when I have an issue to resolve, I think what Olly might say if I were to ask him, like I used to. To have his opinion again on a particular piece, or phrase, or note even. Just one note, the right note, can say so much. These were deep exchanges, with his advice and guidance offered so generously with a profound sense of understanding, respect and motivation. Often with an added sprinkling of humour.

In one sense, when asked by Anssi to write a letter to Olly, it felt like writing some of these unanswered questions down musically. All the many things that I still have to ask, throwing them into the void and contemplating, “Where is he now?”

In part the music is quiet and meditative- emerging from an inner place. An owl, with its’ fluttering wings’ that then takes flight; graceful, intent and powerful. A central section sits low on the cello, fast moving, grating and fragmented. The opening material returns, now more melodic, singing and impassioned. Then descending, down, down, down- into the lowest realms.