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Programme Notes

The generic title ‘Inventions’, usually used for keyboard compositions, has always had an attraction for me.

Firstly, it suggests that the composer is intentionally reducing their means – evoking Bach’s Inventions, it implies rigour, concision, transparency and craft. Secondly, the word suggests a composer’s imagination taking flight – conjuring worlds that don’t exist yet, embracing the elation of creating artistic things. Lastly, it conjures for me the idea of a mad inventor – working with pulleys, cogs, engines and sellotape. Creating contraptions whose complexity far exceeds their use value, but whose ingenuity has a charm in direct proportion to their uselessness. Heath Robinson (alongside his American equivalent, Rube Goldberg) was a master of these latter type of inventions.

All of these three definitions seem to describe how I see my work at various times during the composition process – these Inventions align themselves with all the above implications.


Inventions (for Heath Robinson)

Kunst-Station Sankt Peter (Cologne, Germany)

Thibaut Surugue