Ewan Mackay

In the stillness of time

composer's note

In the Stillness of Time, was composed during the Summer of 2016. During the Spring, I went to the Callanish Standing Stones in Stornoway with a number of my colleagues at UHI. 

This piece is a direct response to my experience of being around these magnificent stones which are said to be 5000 years old. 

This piece, for Solo Cello, is short – around 2.30 to 3 minutes in duration, and is rooted in the musical language of my native country. The music itself is not too involved, nor complex. This may have been as a result of the landscape and situation of the stones which are practically in the middle of nowhere on the Island. This remoteness will no doubt have inspired the music, with drone-like phrasing representing bagpipes and the flourishes perhaps mimicking the intricacies of traditional music, while the slow tempo of the piece resembles a solemn Air to a time, a culture and a people long since gone from our land, but whose legacy and history remains in this wonderful structure – whose mysteries will likely cause many to wonder for many more millennia.

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