passion bleeds into salt (2007, rev. 2012)

For flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet, piano, violin, viola and violoncello

Commissioned by/written for: Divertimento Ensemble

Programme Note:

For the title, I owe a debt to my brother, Alex, who saw the words passion bleeds into salt painted in an official capacity on the wall of Warwick University library when he was an undergraduate.  During his time at the institution, the words were mysteriously painted over and despite numerous searches neither myself, nor my brother, can find to whom the words were originally attributed.

passion bleeds into salt consists of five short miniatures, the odd-numbered movements presenting a recurring procession of musical objects tenuously conjoined by an almost ever-present, almost banal, five-note chromatic line. The even-numbered movements re-present this binding linear material as mechanical interludes, the governing musical mechanisms of which could potentially go on indefinitely but are instead arbitrarily interrupted.

Passion bleeds into salt was originally commissioned by the Royal Northern College of Music to commemorate the retirement of the then principal of the college, Edward Gregson and premiered by the RNCM New Ensemble on the 16th October 2008. The work was subsequently substantially revised and this new version premiered at the Strasbourg Festival Musica on the 3rd October 2012 by the Divertimenti Ensemble.


Approximately 8 minutes

Score Excerpt: