For NYO Inspire
Composer's note: Although originally intended to be performed by massed woodwinds, the piece can also be performed with one performer per part
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain's 'NYO Inspire' is indeed an inspiring initiative, offering a very large group of the UK's teenage instrumentalists free tuition and ensemble experience during a residential course. Leading members of NYOGB also take part, offering encouragement, and further inspiration, to their new colleagues. When I visited NYO Inspire's woodwind course in Liverpool in February 2020, I heard mind-blowing sounds, with each instrument represented by 15 or more players, in pungently strong tuttis and airy paragraphs.
Fresh Air is my response to this exciting experience. The piece has four detachable sections which spotlight, in turn, the flutes, bassoons, clarinets and finally oboes. Some extended air and instrument sounds are also included for the whole ensemble. My original intention was for 'Fresh Air' to be performed by massed woodwinds, but a 'solo' version with one player to a part is equally possible.