As the title suggests, this set of character pieces is by turns lyrical, dance-like and suggestive of bell-sounds. No 1 explores different ways of harmonising the note F sharp, while the oboes keeps wanting to go its own way. In the gently bucolic no 2, oboe and piano explore their own (mutually exclusive) hexachords (this is also a feature of no 4), while 3 contrasts sustained and staccato sounds interleaved with increasingly elaborate ornamentation. 4 is another bucolic dance, though considerably rougher-edged than no 2. I allowed by lyrical impulse free rein in no 5, while no 6, marked 'ben marcato, meccanico', is another bell piece, based around my explorations of the compositional possibilities of change-ringing methods.
– Rob Keeley
The work has been recorded by Melinda Maxwell and the composer on NMC D179, also entitled 'Songs, Chimes and Dances'.