Ewan Mackay

OVer the far horizon

composer's note

Over the Far Horizon’, was composed for performers of the Red Note Ensemble as part of the Aberdeen Sound Festival’s Composer Development Scheme. 

The inspiration behind the piece is the concept of the horizon – both in reality and in a metaphysical sense. As with a great deal of my work, this piece is impressionist with elements of expressionism in its stylistic approach, making use of two small yet important motivic ideas upon which the piece is built. 

The entire melodic content of the work is found within the opening bar. In this piece, I have been careful to complement moments of both light and dark – as is a common feature of my work, in the relationship between major and minor, conflict and resolution. To me, the title of the piece is captivating. In one sense the piece pushes and pulls between that conflict and resolution created within the relationship of the Oboe and Cello and the conversational relationship that they carry throughout the piece. Further thematic ideas are found accented rising figure heard throughout the piece and the flourishes of colour which are squarely related to the opening material in the opening bar, thus creating a work with a minimal amount of musical material. 

I wish to impress that this piece – while remaining somewhat impressionist, albeit on the abstract side, ought to be interpreted by the listener, taking from the title and the notes what they will, to create an image in their minds.

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