Christopher Fox - stone. wind.rain.sun³

The alto flute solo stone.wind.rain.sun was written during the summer of 1989 and is the third of a sequence of four works with that title (the other pieces in the sequence are scored respectively for four trombones, saxophone quartet and two clarinets). All four works were inspired by the upland landscape of the north of England but as their title also suggests 'four-ness' is an important feature of each stone.wind.rain.sun piece. In stone.wind.rain.sun³, this four-ness manifests itself as a 16-part canon (simultaneous four part canons each in four different tempi, with each canonic layer characterised by a different use of the breath and embouchure), producing music of such complexity (the Australian flautist, Laura Chislett, for whom stone.wind.rain.sun³ was written and for whom the flute music of Ferneyhough holds no fears, told me that it was the hardest piece in her repertoire) that it was only with a computer that I could work it out and it is only with amplification that we can hear it properly. However listeners who find visual images useful may like to imagine the music as making a journey through the complexe underground environment of the limestone hills of the Pennines as water seeps and trickles through clints, grikes, sink-holes, caves and tunnels.

stone.wind.rain.sun³ was premiered by Laura Chislett in the British Centre Berlin in September 1989.

Concert 3
St-Paul's Hall