Commissioned by the New Edinburgh Orchestra in celebration of Buzzy Murray. First performed on 19 March 2022 by the New Edinburgh Orchestra conducted by Tim Paxton at Inverleith St Serf's Parish Church, Edinburgh.
New Edinburgh Orchestra's conductor, Tim Paxton, contacted me in May 2020 to explore the possibility of creating a new orchestral piece as a celebration and tribute to Buzzy Murray, a violinist in the orchestra who had died the previous year. It was an unusually ambitious project. Everything I learned about Buzzy was inspirational; she was adventurous, inventive, a passionate musician, and encouraged her fellow human beings to be the same way.
In fact a passing remark about her socially-minded outlook - "she made a point of introducing members of the orchestra to each other" - gave me the idea for New Every Morning. Throughout the piece, melodic material is shared by constantly changing large groupings within the orchestra, crossing the usual boundaries of strings, woodwind, brass. It's my way of "introducing the orchestra to each other" via music.
My composition has a duration of around fifteen minutes, but consists of two movements which follow each other with almost no break. I began to think of these movements as representing two successive days. These two 'days' are structured in the same way, but have contrasting content, hence the title New Every Morning. Both begin with broad melodies which I refer to as 'ragas' - though they're my own invention, not taken from Indian music. These tunes then develop in the hands of the changing orchestral groups, before finishing in quite different ways. Day One closes with the music quickly sliding into the ground - like the sun into the horizon - while the end of Day Two seems gradually to evaporate and disappear in the clear air.
Programme note by Judith Weir
- Spotlight on Judith Weir including orchestral works, opera and a world premiere
- 22nd February 2022
- A series of performances taking place in London over the coming weeks shines a spotlight on the rich and varied output of composer Judith Weir