Owain Hughes - Valley Talk (solo organ)
Note by the composer:
My composition for the organ at Soar is inspired by speech. I have utilised the rhythms and phrasing of local dialect to form melodic and rhythmic shapes in this piece. I wanted to write something I could relate to, being from Merthyr Tydfil and growing up in Aberfan.
There are two humorous main ideas that I used as a basis for the composition. The first was my mother saying to me at home, ‘What you on about mun?’; the other, which I overheard in a supermarket, was a lady saying ‘four pound’s four pound init!’, talking about the great deal she had just given someone she was serving. These two phrases are an example of the colloquial language used around the area, which I have woven into the basis of this composition to be played on the organ.
I took both of the phrases and transcribed the rhythms and pitches. I then utilised them as the main themes in the piece and constantly developed the ideas, taking them through different rhythmic and tonal worlds.
Throughout the composition there is a lot of light and shade. I would like to think that the music reflects my diverse influences, taken from both my jazz and classical backgrounds. I have also tried to use local music as a source of inspiration and have studied lots of historical and present day organ music.
I think the organ is somewhat overlooked these days, but is a brilliant sounding instrument which offers lots of different textures and timbres. I have very much enjoyed getting to know this instrument and I think going forwards the pipe organ is something I would like to study more and utilise further in my own music.
Valley Talk by Owain Hughes was first performed on 21st May 2023 by James McVinnie.
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