Ghost in the Machine, The


large orchestra
Full Orchestra
3(II=afl+picc.III=picc).3(III=ca).3(II=Ebcl.III=bcl).2.cbsn - 6441 - timp - perc(4): sleigh bells/claves/4 spring coils/4 bongos/2 tam-t/BD+cym/2 log drum/2 hi-hat/boobams/4 BD+foot ped/2 congas - harp - strings
Commissioned by the BBC
First Performance
11.5.90, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan: BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

In much of my recent music I have been preoccupied with the place where rational organisation and intuition meet. I like order and disorder equally, but I particularly like the moment where one slides into the other and the ghost appears in the machine (or the machine in the ghost). I stole the title (but nothing else) from Arthur Koestler’s book. 'The Ghost in the Machine' is a fifteen minute accelerando for large orchestra. A huge melody, built in a slightly mediaeval way, unwinds throughout its course: heard first (a la Mahler) on six unison horns before passing through the violas to unison woodwind and the trombones before finally returning to the horns. Behind this tenor, a battery of percussion spasmodically ticks like a massive, broken clock. 'The Ghost in the Machine' was commissioned by the BBC.

© John Woolrich

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