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In memoriam

premiered on 18 December 2007

I wanted to create a piece for saxophone quartet that endured a sound world that was quite different from other works that I have heard, such as works that flourish with melodies and bestow a platform for the virtuosity of the instruments. Instead, In Memoriam is a very slow piece and built upon the idea of a very gradual and subtle unwinding of harmonies as it progresses. I also wanted to experiment with using overtones, as I knew they could be effective within the environment I wanted to set up. The beginning and end of the piece demonstrates this timbral effect—I have written G (tenor) against Ab (alto), which creates a warm panorama of overtones that beat against each other. These attributes perhaps explore the virtuosity of the players in the way of stamina, subtlety and the way the instruments can melt together and sometimes become one.

Overall, the techniques used were to create a piece that is meditative and forms a kind of expressive staticism to aid relief of a contemplative wilderness that one can endure with the loss of someone very close to you.

The piece was written in the memory of my father, Leslie Williamson.

from notes by James Williamson © 2010


SIGCD227Download only


Track 6 on SIGCD227 CD2 [10'33] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD227 disc 2 track 6

Recording date
11 February 2009
Recording venue
The Malthouse, Canterbury, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Joel Garthwaite
Recording engineer
Roland Heap
Hyperion usage
  1. Flux (SIGCD227)
    Disc 2 Track 6
    Release date: March 2011
    Download only
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