The Pearl

Year: April 2016
Instrumentation: Orchestra

Wind: 2322 (3rd oboe player on C.A.) Brass: 4331 2 Perc., Timp, Harp, Celeste, Strings

Duration: 15:00”

Performance History: Mvts I-III unperformed. Mvt IV premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Hoddinot Hall in Cardiff, 03/03/17.

Second performance January 8th 2019 in the Ulster Hall, by the Ulster Orchestra. Broadcast scheduled on BBC Radio 3 New Music Show, date tbc.

About: These pieces are 4 short miniatures based on John Steinbeck’s short story ‘The Pearl’ in which a poor pearl diver, Kino, finds the Pearl of the World. The story explores how he becomes entranced with the pearl and the riches it promises. Eventually his obsession and the greed of other men lead to the death of his son and Kino throws away the pearl, which he now sees as a harbinger of evil. A man of few words, Kino perceives the events around him in connection with music, which he terms the ‘songs’. These miniatures explore some of the main ‘songs’ Kino hears through the book and how they change, interact or become influenced as the narrative unfolds.

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