Instrumentation – solo piano

Duration – c.12′

Written in Brighton, 2014-15

‘A Line Drawn In Water’ first performed by Adam Swayne on 19th June 2015 at St Luke’s, Brighton

I – A Line Drawn In Water
II – Winter Knots


A birthday present for Sylvia Maria Saunders.

‘A Line Drawn In Water’ deals almost exclusively with a single melodic line (a second, a fourth, a second), from which everything is built. I was keen to utilise the full range of the piano, something which takes place throughout the course of the work, but most concentratedly in the concluding sequences. The title aludes to the movement of the surface of a body of water when, for example, you drag your hand through it; at the same time, perhaps it also refers to the fluidity of the melodic lines, as if literally drawn (sketched) out of a material such as water? A through-composed and consonant exposition; an echoing, wave-like development enclosed by symmetrical chordal passages; a dissonant, aggressive conclusion which climbs up from the depths, spinning across the breadth of the piano and off beyond the limits of the highest keys…

‘Winter Knots’ is an embellishment of the movement ‘Winter – A Monody’ from the suite ‘Vignettes’. Lines built from a simple melodic phrase (closely related to the melodic phrase used in ‘A Line Drawn In Water’) are overlaid ontop of each other with rhythmical independence to form long threads of material. Using a limited repertoire in which they may behave, these threads wind themselves into two dense knots over the course of the piece, before being reset each time to their initial stillness.