Simpler times : orchestra
by James Ledger (2015)
As we get older, we all experience the perceived speeding up of
time. The often heard phrases "time flies" and "where does the
time go?" are just two common expressions that attest to
Simpler Times, is an attempt to mirror the exponential passing of time as it speeds up incrementally over the course of the work.
There are seven sections: the tempo of each section relates to the previous section by a simple ratio. For example, the tempo relationship between the first two sections is 7:8. In other words, the first section is 7/8's the tempo of the second section, which is quite a subtle shift. On the arrival of the final seventh section, the tempo relationship between it and the sixth section is 2:3, which is one and a half times faster: a radical jump.
Simpler Times is scored for orchestra that includes piano and toy piano. I really enjoy the unpredictability and jangly sound-world of the latter, it acts as a perfect foil to its grown up cousin. Although Simpler Times alludes to the nostalgic, my intent was not to convey a pining for the good old days. However, in that regard, the title can have a double meaning and it is because of this ambiguity that I chose it.
I am extremely grateful to Geoff Stearn who commissioned this work and also a violin concerto in 2013. The title of that work was Golden Years (notice the recurring theme here?).
Instrumentation: 3 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo, 3rd doubling piccolo & alto flute), 2 oboes (3rd doubling cor anglais), clarinet in B flat, clarinet in A, clarinet in B flat doubling bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contra-bassoon, 4 horns in F (doubling Wagner water tubas, opt.), 3 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), piano, strings.
Duration: 30 min.
Performances of this work
Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.
To post a comment please login.