The music of

David Lumsdaine

The music of David Lumsdaine

Printer friendly version

Mandala 2

for flute (alto flute), clarinet (basset clarinet) percussion, viola, cello

Mandala 2 was commissioned by the Pierrot Players and first performed by them conducted by Harrison Birtwistle in 1969 at a BBC Invitation Concert.

It’s a single movement, based on a rhythmic structure derived from Kelly Ground, and anticipating the shape of Aria for Edward John Eyre. Four pulse canons move towards coincidence (marked by the entry of the percussion), from which point they move out and away again; hence the subtitle, Catches Catch. But the canons are below the surface of the music. What they create is something like a rondo of rondos: ritornelli of very basic gestures (bird calls, animal cries, botanical shapes?) which transform and twine around one another. After the entry of the percussion, the lines unravel as individual melodies, finally leading to the melodic seed of the piece, a fragment played by the alto flute.