Ed Hughes' Flint for Orchestra. A3 conductor's score.
'This orchestral piece is in three continuous sections, lasting approximately fifteen minutes.
It evokes landscape through music. The particular landscape I have in mind is the Sussex Downs, which is scarred by pockets of white and black (chalk and flint).
For me, landscape is peculiarly connected with time - both in the historical sense of a landscape that would have been recognisable to past generations, and in the immediate sense of a walk or journey through it, which might resemble the psychological and cultural experience of a mind 'walk' - through a piece of music.
The material consists of lyrical lines which conjure the mesmerising quality of the landscape with its long flowing lines and smooth geometries. Against this, there are jagged and eruptive musical elements which perhaps correspond to the cuts in the landscape caused by such things as quarries and natural erosion. The chalk and the flint are here revealed and exposed to the often brutal elements.
The quarries also represent visible human interventions in the landscape (the Downs, as Prof. Matthew Cragoe has remarked, for all their wildness, are invisibly shaped by millennia of human habitation).
The work was written between 2011 when the South Downs National Park came into being, and 2014 when the area directly around Sussex University, where I work, (essentially from Shoreham through to Lewes and a little beyond) was recognised as a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme.' - Ed Hughes