Tidal Iterations 2. Music inspired by the tidal rise and fall of the Afon Nyfer Estuary (West Wales); composed by Richard Stephen Hughes; performed by Plus Minus Ensemble

Performed by Plus Minus Ensemble in a workshop June 6th 2019

Part of the Bath Spa University MA in Music

Hughes Tide

from the composer

Tidal Iteration 2 – Richard Hughes

I started to write this piece whilst watching the water flow in and out of the Afon Nyfer estuary. When the water was at its smallest flow, I imagined one instrument playing a motif then, as the flow increased causing the water level to rise, I could envisage another instrument joining the first, playing the same motif at a slightly higher pitch and a little later than the first. The motif then came to represent the essence of the water, its molecules perhaps, repeated in different positions to make up its mass and so the whole piece is made up from this single gesture.

I started to experiment with a motif and writing it at different pitches and offsetting it in time to itself. The piece swells and contracts reflecting the mass of the water in the estuary and the pitch range gradually increases as the piece progresses, reflecting the swelling of the body of water.

The piece was performed by members of Plus-Minus Ensemble in a workshop at The Michael Tippett Centre, June 5th 2019.

Richard Hughes – composer

Mark Knoop – piano

Alice Purton – cello

Vicky Wright – clarinet


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