Score: Cadenza Music

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

Score & Part

Composer's Edition

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12-02-06 (WP) Jacksons Lane Theatre, London (Music Past & Present Festival)
(Ensemble Lumiere: afl - Emma Williams,
pf - Richard Shaw)

23-07-06 Charterhouse Summerschool of Music (Ensemble Lumiere:
afl - Emma Williams, pf - Richard Shaw)

26-11-06 BBC Radio 3 (live)
(Ensemble Lumiere: afl - Emma Williams,
pf - Richard Shaw)

14-03-07 New English School, Kuwait
(afl - Emma Williams, pf - Thalia Myers)

15-09-11 St Marylebone Church, London
(afl - Emma Williams, pf - Richard Shaw)

01-07-13 Willis Hall, Appleby College, Oakville, ON, Canada - Canadian Flute Convention
(afl - Carla Rees, pf - Richard Shaw)

Programme notes

Score: Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows

For alto flute and piano [2005-6]

Duration: 4˝ mins.

Commissioned by Music Past & Present


Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows began as a response to observing a child’s sparkler with its brilliant silver bursts of sparks and the subsequent frozen patterns of glowing shadows that are perceived afterwards by the eye.

In addition, the work explores a synaesthetic response to the visual qualities of the metal mercury and all its mythological associations. The metal was given its name after the Roman mythological character Mercury, who was known as the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. He was the god of science and the arts, and the patron of travellers and athletes.

Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows was commissioned by Music Past & Present and selected as the winning work in the solo/duo instrumental category in the British Composers Awards 2006, in association with BBC Radio 3. The premiere was given by Emma Williams (alto flute) and Richard Shaw (piano) at Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate, London, on the 12th February 2006 as part of the Music Past & Present Festival.

© Patrick Nunn 2006