Night Music is the second instalment in a cycle of works called collectively Shadows of Destruction. The cycle responds to images drawn from collections in the Imperial War Museum, with a particular focus on the effects of the aerial campaign in World War II as recorded by RAF cameras.
The work is in three parts:
Part 1 - 'Flowing' - The piece is largely governed by a 5/8 metre. The melody at times floats freely over the bar lines to create an impression of eliding and shifting surfaces.
Part 2 - 'Machine song' - This movement explores musical gestures of descent and ascent; tension between the music's mechanistic and lyrical qualities; disruption as conflicting scales are brought together and complex harmonies are cross-cut with occasional moments of transparency.
Part 3 - 'Night toccata' - A rapid study which explores the full range and registers of the piano, at times exploring some harmonies obsessively while at certain moments breaking through to passages of pure textures, rhythms and clusters.
Commissioned by Norman Jacobs, artistic director of Music Of Our Time, with funding support from the RVW Trust.
The music can be performed as a concert piece, or as an accompaniment to the silent moving images.