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TOM OWEN
4 Violas.
I. Figures
II. Fever
III. Isolation Drill
Part of a series of pieces inspired by J. G. Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition, this piece is specifically a response to the third chapter The Assassination Weapon. Like the surrealist painters, Ballard conjures up vast and bizarre landscapes that mirror abstract mental states; his characters wander around in imagined settings that are direct projections of their own unresolved turmoil. It strikes me that this literature is unusually close to what non-programmatical music can achieve, that is, an apparently boundless setting where thoughts and feelings can somehow be explored in the abstract.
In the passage in question, the protagonist climbs a hugely oversized motorway embankment accompanied by three ghostly figures. At the top he finds himself on a 'beach' type landscape, although it stretches to the horizon in all directions and is strewn with various debris from his memories. One period of anxiety manifests itself as a stay in an abandoned hut.
List of works
Bust
Hut Ritual
Exhibition Suite
Triple Concerto
Fastener (Bra 3) (Plunge)
Prowl Routine
Sweet Suffolk Owl
Package 1a
Womb
What a Clarinet Sounds Like
Embankment Beach
© 2015 Tom James, Tom Owen, Jenny Jackson & Chris Noble.
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Embankment Beach
Score and clip open in new windows.