Echo Anthony Gilbert

Echo cover
3 mins 30 secs

Solos, Duos & Trios Solos •• Solos (other instruments)

1 Trumpet in B-flat

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solo trumpet

Programme note

In the summer and autumn of 2007 I paid three visits to Echo, Susie MacMurray’s remarkable installation at St Mary’s, York, in which the whole of the nave was filled from vaulting to floor with rows of streams of luminous balls made of bow-hairs. On the first visit the installation was in the making;  enough was there to have a foretaste of the whole, and through the vertical streams shone diagonal beams of light. In my imagination it evoked plainchant. The second visit was on a grey late-afternoon - the opening. At first it seemed but an echo of what I’d previously seen, though before long it began to have a strange, ephemeral, haunting effect, suggesting viola harmonics. However, on the third, the sun had returned, and the richness then evoked a whole trumpet section in my imagination. So this piece aims to convey either of these quasi-magical impressions. It is dedicated to the memory of Susie's late husband, John MacMurray, Principal trumpet in the Hallé Orchestra.