Midi-Harp and Orchestra (2010)
This piece was commissioned by Sioned Williams and composed specifically for the new Midiharp which has been developed by Camac Harps under the direction of Jakez Francois. As well as sounding like an electric harp, the instrument allows each string to act as a trigger for a multitude of midi effects, patches and samples. Therefore this was to be a major part of the composition.
When the opportunities are so unlimited I felt a danger of using too many ingredients within a piece, I therefore streamlined my approach and decided to use solely vocal samples as source material for the sound world. These vocal samples are taken from political speeches concerning the existence of the so-called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq following the Iraq war that begun in 2003.
Because of the place the harp inhabits within our culture (historically allied to heavenly beings, connected to romance, the role and deportment of women etc) I wanted this piece to provide a small counterpoint to that received perception. The piece opens with the harp sounding very much like a harp and for the first few minutes it remains that way. Then the piece shifts and starts to incorporate other more brutal and macho samples which subsume the harp as the piece progresses.