'Black Lake and EXIT'

- for electric cello

Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta in 2014, as part of their 'Spectrum of Sound' series. Premiered March 28th 2015, at Q.E.Hall - Southbank Centre, by Tim Gill.

Studio recording by the composer: Black Lake and EXIT


EXCERPT
PROGRAMME NOTE

The piece - and its title - were inspired by a few bits from novels, and a quote from Robin Williams:

“I would lie for hours by the window gazing down upon the black lake and up at the mountains silhouetted against the wan sky, with stars suspended above. Then a fearfully sweet, overpowering emotion would take hold of me — as though all the nighttime beauty looked at me accusingly, stars and mountain and lake longing for someone who understood the beauty and agony of their mute existence”
- Hermann Hesse, Peter Camenzind

“Someone has already taken out a Minolta cellular phone and called for a car, and then, when I'm not really listening, watching instead someone who looks remarkably like Marcus Halberstam paying a check, someone asks, simply, not in relation to anything, "Why?" and though I'm very proud that I have cold blood and that I can keep my nerve and do what I'm supposed to do, I catch something, then realize it: Why? and automatically answering, out of the blue, for no reason, just opening my mouth, words coming out, summarizing for the idiots: "Well, though I know I should have done that instead of not doing it, I'm twenty-seven for Christ sakes and this is, uh, how life presents itself in a
bar or in a club in New York, maybe anywhere, at the end of the century and how people, you know, me, behave, and this is what being Patrick means to me, I guess, so, well, yup, uh..." and this is followed by a sigh, then a slight shrug and another sigh, and above one of the doors covered by red velvet drapes in Harry's is a sign and on the sign in letters that match the drapes' color are the
words THIS IS NOT AN EXIT”
- Brett Easton Ellis, American Psycho

“By degrees, however, he fashioned for himself out of this tendency a philosophy that was actually serviceable to life. He gained strength through familiarity with the thought that the emergency exit stood always open, and became curious, too, to taste his suffering to the dregs. If it went too badly with him he could feel sometimes with a grim malicious pleasure: "I am curious to see all the
same just how much a man can endure. If the limit of what is bearable is reached, I have only to open the door to escape”
- Hesse, Steppenwolf

“It's great when stories are dark and strange and weirdly personal"
- Robin Williams