Echoes of Empire

Echoes of Empire


**** ‘…the gripping opening, sultry inflexions and flashes of virtuosity that gave gravitas to Nicholas Olsen’s Echoes of Empire.’ – Scotsman (May 11th, 2015)

*** ‘… a real gem… Nicholas Olsen’s evocation of timelessness in the first movement of his Echoes of Empire, which had the genuine sense of a distant past in its first movement and an appropriately-pastoral feel to its second’ – Herald (May 6th, 2015)

written for Red Note, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Plug 2015.

Premiered by Holly Mathieson and the Red Note ensemble.

in three movements

I. One More Grain

II. Seikilos’ Epitaph

III. Anhur and Hapi

Programme Note

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in the ancient world and the mythology surrounding it. It was my journey to the Greek islands during the summer of 2014 that set me to work on this piece.

I. One More Grain

Ovid, a Roman poet and philosopher, wrote in his Metamorphoses: “I grabbed a pile of dust, and holding it up, foolishly asked for as many birthdays as the grains of dust, I forgot to ask that they be years of youth.”

II. Seikilos’ Epitaph

Dating back to around the 1st Century AD, Seikilos’ Epitaph is the oldest remaining full musical composition. It was discovered in 1883 by Sir William Ramsay. It is a composition inscribed in Greek, and notated using a polytonic script.

III. Anhur and Hapi

A exploration of ancient civilizations would not be complete without looking Egyptian deities. Anhur is the Egyptian God of War, and Hapi the Egyptian God of the River Nile.

for

Flute (doubling Piccolo and Alto Flute), Bb Clarinet, Percussion (Vibraphone, Tubular Bells, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Side Drum), Piano, Violin, Violoncello.

Performances

7.30pm, Tuesday 5th May, 2015, Ledger Recital Room, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, performed by Holly Mathieson and the Red Note Ensemble . (World premiere)