On 26 June, Summer at Snape presented the world premieres of two recent works by Tansy Davies and John Woolrich: Monolith: I Extend My Arms for strings and percussion, and Hark! The Echoing Air for trumpet and chamber orchestra respectively. Sian Edwards conducted Britten Sinfonia, who were joined by Matilda Lloyd for the Woolrich.
Woolrich’s 9-minute trumpet concertino begins with a relatively faithful transcription of an aria from Act 5 of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen before, in the words of its composer, ‘strays from the path and wanders into the woods’.
Lasting around 16½ minutes, Davies’ new piece takes its title from a work by the French surrealist photographer, sculptor, and writer Claude Cahun. Simultaneously dense and translucent, several strata of layered, looping material, interact, drifting and coalescing, highlighted and accentuated by tubular bells, shaker, and bass drum. Internal rhythms gradually work their way out from deep within, bubbling up and dancing across the surface
Other recent works by Davies formed a central strand in Summer at Snape, which presented the UK premieres of Dune of Footprints for string orchestra (25 June) and the Yoik for solo horn with Pip Easthop (20 June).