Saturday, 4 October 2008

Injera

This piece, written in 2005, finally got its first performance a couple of months ago, from the outstanding young Australian pianist Zubin Kanga, at the York Late Music Festival. This is a recording of that performance, and the piece is a little less than 12 minutes long.



The piece is the only one I've written that is directly influenced by one of my great non-musical passions - food. Injera is a kind of Ethiopian bread, rather like a spongy pancake. It’s used both in place of cutlery and to line the plates on which the food is served. Not strong tasting itself, it gradually takes on the flavors of the highly spiced and distinctive stews served on top of it over the course of the meal. The form of this piece is taken from that process. A rather grey, bland, background begins the piece, and very highly characterized musics occur ‘on top’ of this fixed layer. Their characters seep into the chords, and the music becomes more and more mixed, merging identities in the same way the flavors of the food come together in the bread. The form can also be seen as a more abstract narrative, moving from sectional, block-like, structures towards a linear continuum. The idea of underlying structural stories linking two seemingly totally unrelated experiences seems to me one of the most interesting and exciting properties of all art.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

How right you are: what a superb player. I really enjoyed that. Thank you.

v