Perfect Crime

Orchestra (2000)
24 mins

This piece was commissioned by Nottingham City Council for performance by Nottingham choirs and the East of England Orchestra. It was premiered on 15 July 2000 at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham.

Early this year I read Meditations by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and it started a train of thoughts which I wanted to explore in this piece. I was interested in his ideas on the amount of time allotted to each one of us, how we all come to the same end and how only the ‘present? really exists for each one of us – no past, no future.

A piece of music can be said to only exist when you’re actually hearing it. This is not a new idea. But I still wonder what exists of a piece of music outside that time and the codes which represent it? And life, like music, exists in time. It has similar parrallels and so again I wonder about these ‘codes? which represent and record our lives, their incredible ability to mimic them and the idea of these ‘codes? replacing the real thing.

As the fictionalising of our world accelerates and incorporates nanotechnology, digital communication and virtual reality, it seems that the prediction of catastrophes, which we humans relish so much, might not take into account the fact that they may have already occurred and are continually occurring.

The text of Perfect Crime comprises on the one hand statements from Marcus Aurelius, and on the other, my own questions to him regarding change, substitution and my own demise.