Lines written a few miles below

Bowden, M. (2011) Lines written a few miles below. [Composition]


For violin & track, duration c.11 minutes. This work was commissioned by Rambert Dance Company for a new dance work of the same title by the choreographer Malgorzata Dzierzon. The choreography for the piece draws on observations of London commuters and portrays the different ways that intimate or private behaviours, such as sleeping, eating, kissing and arguing, can manifest themselves on public transport. The music is constructed from two different elements: the first is an electronic part comprising real sounds collected during various journeys on the London Underground and the second is a live violin line, written for Thomas Gould. Occasionally percussive sounds from the live violin, music from commuters’ headphones and ghostly fragments of a busker’s melody find their way into the electronic part. The title of the piece is a play on the poem ‘Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey’ by William Wordsworth in which the poet contemplates the ‘tranquil restoration’ of nature’s beauty. Malgorzata and I found it interesting to observe the different ways that people strive to find a personal sense of tranquillity within the frenzied subterranean world of the Underground. A recording of this piece by Thomas Gould is available on Champs Hill Records here:

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