As part of the Armistice Centenary commemorations, Martin Suckling is working with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to create Meditation (after Donne), a new work for chamber orchestra and electronics which will take as its inspiration the massed ringing of bells as Armistice was declared. Suckling envisions ‘a simple song for orchestra, with performers and audience surrounded by a constantly evolving tapestry of tolling bells created by live electronics’. The 11-minute piece receives three performances in November conducted by Nicolas Altstaedt. More details can be found at armisticebells.com
Meditation (after Donne) marks the end of Suckling’s time as Associate Composer with the SCO, a remarkably rich partnership which has seen the creation of a clutch of brilliant new works: storm, rose, tiger and Six Speechless Songs, and the dazzling Piano Concerto. The association also included a revival of Candlebird, his exquisite song cycle for baritone and ensemble.
‘This Departing Landscape’
In March the BBC Philharmonic will premiere Suckling’s substantial 20-minute orchestral work This Departing Landscape. ‘Morton Feldman used this phrase to highlight how music slips away from us even as we are hearing it’ explains Suckling. ‘The sometimes hyperactive energy of my new work is far removed from Feldman’s soundworld, but his characterisation of music’s elusiveness provided the starting point for a journey across an imaginary landscape in constant flux.’
Other forthcoming projects include a work for organ and a set of songs for mezzo-soprano and piano.