Projects | Tansy Davies | Composer

Re-greening

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
"can you write us a piece that we don't need to use a conductor for?"
With characteristic inventiveness, the NYO approached me with an unusual request; to write them a piece for very large orchestra, that could 1. be performed without a conductor  2. be played partly from memory, and 3. could be a companion piece for Mahler's Ninth Symphony...

It's unusual for me to take on commission which already has a concept behind it, but I loved the poetic ideas that the NYO came to me with: it had to be about the essence of Spring and youthfulness in the wider context of the cycle of life and death.
I found inspiration in a shamanic wheel of the year; a system with an ancient, nature-based mythology. 
This page of sketches encapsulates almost all of the material I used to make the piece.
From the programme note:
Endless refrains, woven out of intricate, inter-connecting segments combine to form a kind of musical forest. Much of the surface music is playful, yet punctuated by explosions of new growth, rising from below, in a celebration of Spring. Bursts of sound often announce new permutations of colour and texture; like a parade of windows, framing the cycles of forest life.
Some melodic fragments and bits of systems and harmony.
Re-greening was premiered at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh on 6 August 2015. Following that the NYO took the work on tour, to Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Royal Albert Hall, London, and the Konzerthaus in Berlin.