My First My Last

A short orchestral work for strings, piano, flugalhorn, concertina, French horn, harmonium, woodwinds and waterphone.


Love: let this be my first word each morning, and the last before I sleep.


The Start and End of Day

Our response to music differs, and so I feel it better that you make your first experience of this piece your own, before reading my thoughts...

Love as a noun describes feeling, and as a verb, action. As I say or whisper the word love I am mindful of how I will love, or have loved. This solitary word becomes my meditation.

Saying a word is different to thinking one. That a single word can lead to so many thoughts, be understood and experienced in so many ways, and be the engine of change, is magical.

Unlike the words passion and desire, the word love is sometimes viewed of as softer or weaker. I hope the music and accompanying artwork counters this view by conveying strength in addition to its lyrical, reflective quality.

The music begins and ends quietly as if from, and to, sleep. The opening is full with indistinct souls that surge powerfully as uncertain waves and half remembered dreams. The piano is the sound of time passing, my morning: arcs gently rise and fall. A dulcet flugalhorn sings, at first alone, before it is joined in dance by the concertina, a modest instrument not usually heard within an orchestral setting. The sound of the same pitch that began the work ends the piece in a crescendo, much like the word love starts and ends the day.

The accompanying artwork reminds me of the sun. I enjoy its warmth, beauty, form and colour as I journey through its endless cycle of light.

A full size extract from the artwork follows.