Energetic, ambitious and playful, Coult’s latest orchestral work Sonnet Machine will be premiered by the BBC Philharmonic and Andrew Gourlay on 23 April before being heard on Radio 3 as incidental music to a Shakespeare-inspired radio play by Tom Wells.
Recalling Alan Turing’s fascination with the idea of machines writing sonnets, Coult describes the piece as ‘a creative misunderstanding of sonnet form – 14 bits of music that ‘’rhyme’’ in various ways, as if an early computer had arbitrarily applied the rules of sonnet form to a piece of music.’
Over the course of the work’s riproarious 10 minutes, whipcracks articulate many jolting gear changes and non sequiturs, whilst the front desks of violins and violas double on instruments whose scordaturas lend a blazing rawness to the open-string sonorities of the work’s arresting point of departure. A succession of dazzling orchestral textures – intricate and multilayered but always transparent – once again testify to the maturity of this young composer’s craft. Later, the glint of open strings returns to initiate a breathless coda which hurtles forward to its close.
More details about the concert can be found here