Commissioned by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group with financial assistance from West Midlands Arts and the following Sound Investors through BCMG's Sound Investment Scheme : [names to be inserted].
Part 3 of the cycle 'a ribbon of time'
"Boots of Lead" is the third part of "a ribbon of time", a cycle of five pieces which take their impetus from my ongoing fascination with the poetry of Emily Dickinson. The poem which opens "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain" (c.1861) is the spur behind this central piece. It could be seen as being the still centre of the cycle. It is scored for alto voice with an offstage clarinet in A. Onstage, with the alto, there is a flute, oboe d'amore, second clarinet in A (mostly doubling bass), horn, cimbalom and percussion, piano (doubling celesta), harp with violin, viola and bass. The music is a stately, claustrophobically slow, frozen dirge, which at one point almost disappears completely. S.H.
Boots of Lead