Broke Down Engine

‘Broke-Down Engine’

Instrumentation – solo percussionist (brake drum & conga)

Duration – c.2’36”

Written in Brighton 2011


Dedicated to friend and geometer Sama Mara. Composed in the early stages of a project with Sama studying the relationships between music and geometry. The music (who’s title is taken from an old blues tune) describes a man struggling to start his car in the morning and going through the ordeals of fixing it, until finally being rewarded with the workings of it’s rickety old engine. The broken phrases throughout the piece attempt to mirror the sounds of the stuttering, choking engine, his footsteps around the car, and the clanging of tools inside the bonnet. At the time of its composition the building in which I lived was covered in scaffolding, so naturally the rhythms of the workers outside my window couldn’t help but guide the piece.