eyam v (woven)

For Contrabass Flute, Contrabass Clarinet and Orchestra

eyam v (woven) is the final piece in the eyam series, which includes five connecting pieces for clarinets and flutes in various solo, ensemble, electronic and orchestral settings.

Eyam is a small village in Derbyshire, England. The village is best known for being the “plague village” that chose to isolate itself when the plague was discovered there in August 1665, rather than let the infection spread. In this work, the village stands as a metaphor for ideas of isolation and infiltration that are sonically explored across the eyam pieces.

The clarinet is soloist of eyam i and eyam ii, and the flute is soloist of eyam iii and eyam iv. In eyam v, after the clarinet and flute’s independent explorations in the earlier pieces, the orchestra bring the contrabass flute and contrabass clarinet into a new place of interaction. The flute begins the piece with the full orchestra energetically supporting it, and the clarinet is a lone figure seeking elevation from its low register. The orchestra gradually negotiates between these contrasting soloists, weaving a new sonic mass from threads that it takes from each of their musical identities, rebalancing the energy levels between these instruments. This new sonic mass that the orchestra weaves brings the flute and clarinet to a new place, one that guides the soloists into a type of equilibrium that they can build forward from.


Listen to the piece, performed by Richard Craig, Carol McGonnell, and The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by Gavin Maloney:


Look at an excerpt from the score: eyam_v_web_excerpt