The Will of the Tones (2003)
Jeremy Thurlow (b. ….)
In this piece I tried to recreate in modern terms the Romantic notion, which I’ve always found exciting, of music as some kind of living organism, animated by the inexorable drive or 'will' of the sounds which make it up. The idea resonates with more recent thinking, too, about the way that genes blindly but powerfully shape the development of the bodies of which they are part. The piece begins with the whole body of the piano being stirred into resonance by a series of bright, strong, single notes, which gradually multiply and evolve into something both fluid and weighty, with a life and an energy entirely its own. This is virtuoso music, and it’s conceived on a grand scale, even though in fact it’s only about 10 minutes long.
The Will of the Tones was written for Matthew Schellhorn, who gave the première in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, in November 2004.
© Jeremy Thurlow 2006
Listen to extract [1.48]