Writing the Future: First Pieces (part 3)

Tim Hodgkinson is another of the six composers selected to take part in the London Sinfonietta’s new Writing the Future scheme, and has been working with the ensemble’s Principal horn Michael Thompson since the scheme’s launch in February.

The result of this collaboration is a Sinfonietta Short, as yet untitled, which will be premiered at a free pre-concert performance as part of Pavilions, the London Sinfonietta’s celebration of new British music on Sunday 29 May.

Tim tells us more about his new piece…

Tim Hodgkinson (L) and Michael Thompson meet at the Writing the Future Launch, Feb 2011

Tim Hodgkinson (L) and Michael Thompson meet at the Writing the Future launch, Feb 2011. Image (c) Briony Campbell

I am at the stage where there is a great deal of impetus coming from what already exists but there are still major decisions being made that require me to step back and think or not think about what I am doing.

I’m not sure about the flavour: ripe fruits with dark undertones of tobacco perhaps.

Just had (Monday) an excellent session with Michael in which we went through the first part working on details of playing and notation. This all went fine. I thought he might tell me the second part was unplayable – it has a lot of little notes in it – but he didn’t. It simply sounds more snakey than I was expecting, which is fine, as the material all derives from a complex wave form. Then we looked at sound ideas for the third part and he suggested using a microphone for the performance so we can use varied breath sounds and they won’t disappear in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The next step for me is to firm up the third part whilst keeping hold of how it reflects on what goes before it, as well as how it reflects on a possible fourth part. I think what really holds the piece together is the silences and I have to keep weighing these up. They are hard to fix because they don’t feel the same length if you count them, and the listener won’t be counting them.

Tim Hodgkinson

Book your tickets to hear the premiere of Tim’s new Sinfonietta Short at Pavilions at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 29 May, 2011.

Click here to find out more about how the London Sinfonietta is creating new music with some of the finest emerging composers on Writing the Future.

Pavilions is generously supported by Arts Council England, the Holst Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation and the RVW Trust.

Writing the Future is generously supported by The Boltini Trust, The John S Cohen Foundation, Anthony Mackintosh and Michael & Patricia McLaren-Turner.

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