‘Mirage’ for string quintet, piano and percussion was written in 2014 for the Norfolk Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Andrey Kasparov, and first performed on 20 April 2015 at the Chandler Recital Hall, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA. ‘Mirage’ is a reflection on a Spanish summer at various times of day. The music is an image of events which, whilst not perhaps significant in themselves, together shape a lifestyle which necessarily revolves around the supremely hot weather. A shimmering heat haze is a background to early morning walking, cycling and jogging on the seafront, mist rising on the water and the opening of beachside churingitas. Later on, a juxtaposition of old and new Spain is characterised; late night flamenco, even English barbershop and most significantly, a lone accordionist playing outside in the evening whose melody drifts in and out and is never heard in its entirety. The unusual combination of instruments gives the opportunity to combine eclectic instrumentation both through the medium of rhythmic additions from the separated elements of a drum kit, inspired by Mark Anthony Turnage ‘Release’ and the melodic integration of a vibraphone. The creation and first performance of this work came about as the result of a long standing collaboration with Marlene Ford, a horn player and teacher from Old Dominion University who had previously commissioned and performed ‘Linear Lines’, a work for solo horn, as part of a series of talks about Hildegard of Bingen, and the brass trio, ‘Call’, based on bugle calls of the USA. The outcome of this work has been a stronger presence within the USA, and a lasting legacy through a video made available on YouTube.
Lane, L. Mirage: A Spanish summer