Commissioned by The Hermes Experiment

The world premiere took place on June 6, 2015 at Crypt on the Green, London performed by The Hermes Experiment.

  • S + cl/hp/db
  • Soprano, Clarinet, Harp, Double Bass
  • 5 min

Programme Note

Tanka (literally “short poem”) is a form of Japanese poetry - similar to the more famous Haiku - made of five lines. Ben Osborn’s poem is a response to a photograph by Thurstan Redding, commissioned by The Hermes Experiment for their 2015 Lovescapes concert. The photograph shows two lovers embracing against an industrial backdrop; the text describes the interactionof light and the shadows it creates throughout the day. The music reflects my interpretation of both Thurstan's photo and Ben's poem. It is slow, dreamlike and mysterious, and also somewhat bittersweet: a sound world inspired by the stark contrast between two opposed images made strangely yet beautifully at one within the photograph. I had fun playing around with Ben's words, realising that they could be effectively interchanged. There is no narrative as such; instead the piecestrives to be -like the photograph- a fixed moment in time, which expands as the words become confused.