Julian Leeks - composer


Instrumentation: str[]
Duration: 9 mins.
First performance: Bristol Ensemble (cond. Jolyon Laycock). 5th April 2014, Cresswell Theatre, Bristol.

Full Score: £11.50

Programme note:
The Wake of the title could mean to emerge from slumber or to become aware of an essential truth that was previously obscured. It could also refer to a gathering after the funeral of a loved one. An element common to each of these definitions is the notion of contrasting states; the transition from one condition to another.

It was commissioned by SCA as a response to Krzysztof Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. My initial aim was to explore how one might attempt to reach an accommodation with indescribable grief, in an effort to continue living. Although, for practical reasons, I was unable fully to pursue my original idea, the fundamental concept remains evident – that the seeds of renewal are to be found in the ashes of the past. That grief can be absorbed and assimilated but never conquered.

The resulting music is characterised by passages of extreme contrast. While all the music is evolved from the same basic intervallic material, it is presented as “viewed” from wildly different perspectives.