The title of Paul Mealor's, Spectred Light refers to the ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or twilight over rivers or lakes.
Tales of the ‘Spectred Lights’ can be found in numerous folk tales around the world, and it is often depicted as a malicious character in these stories.
In Welsh folklore, it is said that the light is 'fairy fire' held in the hand of a ‘pwca’ - a small goblin-like fairy that leads lone travelers off the beaten path at night. As the traveller follows the pwca through the marsh, the fire is extinguished, leaving the man lost.
This short work for Flute, Clarinet and Piano is an attempt to depict, through sound, this strange phenomenon. The piece flickers into life and, though a series of asymmetric variations, leads the listener into a maze of aural colours. As the music reaches breaking point, it disappears upwards and dissolves into metal wind-chimes. Out of this, a short respite is heard before the music finally hurtles into its finale – a blaze of virtuosity.
Spectred Light was commissioned by, and dedicated to, virtuoso clarinetist Esther Lamneck.