Audio extract (30 secs) from CD Morphosis (qt-afl - Carla Rees, pf - Richard Shaw, elec - Patrick Nunn)

Score & Parts:

Composer's Edition

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08-07-04 (WP) Recital Hall, Royal College of Music, London -Rarescale Competition Finals (qt-afl - Carla Rees, pf - Kerry Young, elec = Michael Oliva)

22-11-04 DJRH, Royal Academy of Music, London (qt-afl - Carla Rees,
pf - Kerry Young, elec = Patrick Nunn)

30-01-05 CAMI Hall, New York, USA -
New York Flute Club (Rarescale)

01-07-05 The Space, Docklands, London (Rarescale)

21-10-05 Barber Institute, Birmingham (Rarescale)

27-11-05 Festival Hub, Huddersfield (Rarescale)

13-09-08 St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch, London E1 - Rarescale 5th Anniversary Concert (Rarescale)

13-10-08 All Saints' Arts Centre, London N20 (Rarescale)

Programme notes

Score: Into my burning veins a poison

For alto flute and piano [2004]

Duration: 7 mins.


The title of this work comes from the closing of Racine’s Greek tragedy Phaedra in which Phaedra takes her own life.

The initial starting materials were samples of single notes performed on the Japanese shakuhachi that the composer used whilst working on the score for Phaedra in 2002. These were altered to form a series of conventional and quarter-tone pitches, which served as an additional palette of harmony.

Also quoted in the music are the last words spoken by Phaedra before she dies. Representing her internal dialogue and spoken in French, we hear in garbled, whispered tones, But death, robbing my eyes of light, will give back to the sun its tarnished purity. The work represents Phaedra’s mental state as the poison takes her from torment to a place of peace and rest.

Into my burning veins a poison was selected as the winning work in the RCM Rarescale composition prize in 2004. The premiere was given by Carla Rees (quarter-tone alto flute), Kerry Young (piano) and Michael Oliva (electronics) at the Recital Hall, Royal College of Music, London, on the 8th July 2004 as part of the RCM Rarescale Competition finals.

© Patrick Nunn 2006