…and the stars were like pinpricks in the black fabric of night…

…and the stars were like pinpricks in the black fabric of night…

Instrumentation: piano & ensemble (flute, clarinet, piano, violin & cello)

Duration: c.7’30”

Written in Brighton, July-August 2015

First performed by the New Music Players ensemble (conductor – Ed Hughes) in the Friend’s Meeting House, University Of Sussex, 24th September 2015, and The Warehouse, London, 25th September 2015.


Commissioned by (and dedicated to) the composer Ed Hughes. According to Medieval scholars, the stars were believed to be holes in the firmament, through which could be seen an all-encompassing fire. This firmament formed the last of the seven celestial orbs, a static outer layer, the remaining six rotating at different rates and distances around the Earth, carrying with them what appeared as the Sun, Moon and planets. The voices in this work could be viewed as a musical metaphor for those holes through which light is let through, flickering at different rates/speeds/distances as they encircle the listener: 8 of the pitches are fixed, 4 are ‘in orbit’, those larger heavenly bodies often shining brighter than the rest. Through this process I have tried to endow the music with, if not timelessness, then a certain temporal elasticity, weightless, as if suspended in space outside of normal time. The music is derived from a single 12-tone row, and is scored spatially.