Wednesday 6 May 2009

John Woolrich

John Woolrich's Whitel's Ey receives its premiere in a few hours (I look forward to hearing it myself tomorrow in Cambridge). John has written: 'There is no tabula rasa in music: every piece of music is connected to something else, certainly other music, but also perhaps a poem, a picture or a person. Or even a landscape. Some composers have used landscape as a metaphor for the structure of a piece, others have attempted to evoke the atmosphere of landscapes real (In the Fen Country) or imaginary (Egdon Heath).

Whitel’s Ey started with a walk in the Great Fen and conversations there. Later I looked at John Clare’s poetry and journals and Iain Sinclair’s book, Edge of the Orison, which traces John Clare’s ‘journey out of Essex’. The piece grew out of the memory of the landscape and the texts, and also thoughts about the two resonant spaces where the piece will have its first performances. Iain Sinclair’s book gave me the title, Whitel’s Ey, one step away from Whittlesey.'

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