In ictu oculi - three meditations

Hesketh, K. (2018) In ictu oculi - three meditations. [Composition]


For orchestra, duration 17 minutes. This piece has been recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Christoph-Mathias Mueller (Paladino Music: PMR 0092) see The CD on which this recording appears was nominated Top 100 disc release 2018 by The Times, and BBC Music Magazine Orchestral Choice January 2019. A short recorded extract is available on the audio tab below. An earlier version of this piece for wind ensemble is also available, and this was premiered on 9 April 2016 at the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music London, by the National Youth Wind Ensemble conducted by Philip Scott. "In Ictu Oculi (in the blink of an eye), is part of a current cycle of works that have the idea of Momento Mori, or Vanitas and memorial, at their centre. This work is an extended meditation upon the transience of time and disintegration of cultures, individuals and civilisations. The notion of journey is important in this work and the formal architecture it employs utilises metaphors of labyrinth (a single, but convoluted through-route) and maze (a pathway with many branches, choices of path and dead-ends) in negotiating its musical structures. The work runs continuously without a break, though it is articulated by the following titled sections: Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt? [Where are those who were before us?] Stele I [A marker stone, slab or column decorated with figures or commemorative inscriptions, common in prehistory] Ozymandian fallacy / Stele II Timor mortis conturbat me [the fear of death dismays me]." © Kenneth Hesketh

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