A secular carol

I am working on Sinfonia, a piece for large ensemble inspired by the sound of English music from c.1400-1600. Performance by the New Music Players at the Warehouse, London on Fri 28 Sept. http://nmp28sept.eventbrite.com

The impulse of the Agincourt Carol is different from sacred texts from this time. A kind of barely polyphonic visceral movement that shoots through the music both with and against the prevailing pulse. Yielding unexpected eruptions of rhythmic complexity. Leading to a larger form than expected in my own version, in order to work through the material. I like the idea of returning to the first idea, with changes. Here, the first idea was formed around a found/appropriated musical fragment - and then the return is formed around the first idea - a sort of layer up. The original tune is made more complex with chromatic interpolations while still retaining its fundamental shape, just as the original rhythm is expanded and extended with interpolations. [In fact all this leads me back to my original question: if you create a piece from anything, why do you need the anything in the first place? Is it about finding a ground in music, a secure basis for creative ornamentation?]

(The image is copyright Katy Vandyck)

Ed Hughes