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Welcome to the first in an occasional series of postcards from composer Martin Suckling

A collection of postcards showing traditional images of Scotland from the 1980s

image from Glaswegian.info

New Music

Martin is going to be writing us ‘musical postcards’ in response to the music we’ll be performing this season, so you’ll be hearing a lot from Martin during 2012-13. We asked him to send us a little postcard to let us know how he’s getting on…

Postcard from Martin Suckling #1

Composer Martin SucklingDear Scottish Ensemble,
Hello!  I’ve not finished your ‘musical postcard’ yet so this written one will need to suffice for the moment.
I’m trying to make your first piece bright and shiny and energetic, with everyone playing a single line full of open strings and dance-like rhythms, but it seems that certain instruments keep on veering off on their own. I’m inclined to let them; there’s something fun about having a melody fracture into lots of different lines – eventually it stops sounding like a melody at all and becomes a sweeping, shimmering harmony.  Oh, there will be microtones, by the way.  But they’ll be of the delicious rather than the discordant variety, I promise.
The weather is lovely and I’ve bought a new bike to speed the composition along.  I’m sure it’s helping.
Wish you were here?  Of course, but I’m not sure I’ve got room for all twelve of you, particularly since I seem to be writing each of you individual parts.  How could I resist using all 48 strings?  Think of all the juicy chords in natural harmonics that might be possible!  But I’m getting ahead of myself: that’s for the next piece. . .
See you in October!


Martin’s first musical postcard will be performed during our Illuminations concerts in October and at our Wigmore Hall concert on 30 October 2012. Visit our website for full details