In the Kingdom of Hope there is no Winter: detailed background notes to the compositions

landschaft 027

Available to listen to and buy at Bandcamp

Release date: 06 April 2022

Format: digital download. Artwork and typography by Landschaft.

The work explained

'In the Kingdom of Hope there is no Winter', is perhaps my most highly 'composed' work to date. It comprises a suite of three works; the first and second, the title work, a two part piece of 37:00 and 11:29 minutes; two shorter format works follow. I have constructed this aural metaphor to represent that proverb: of the point of reference from which hope exits - it's polar opposite despair and the wished for journey to the green grass on the other side of the hill. That seems an appropriate response to present turbulent world events in Ukraine where the forces of war shift borders and populations, ideologies are threatened, new alliances are forged. And where it matters, at the human level, where the blunt facts of daily existence surface the yearning for a return to stability and safety and the attending doubts whether that can be achieved.

I didn't think I would see another re-drawing of the map of Europe in my remaining years. But on reflection, casting my mind back to the early 1990's standing on the platform of Przemysl railway station I now remember how fragile seemed those borders that delimit the extent of cultural forces and the barbed wire at the border crossing. Ukraine was then newly separated from the Soviet Union, and the old Soviet era archetecture and circumspection lingered. It is sobering to think as I type these bald words that where I stood now stands the tide of the displaced.

I am always mindful of the need to avoid cliche in my art and compositional practice. I think these pieces do that and distinguish the subject matter with the respect and solemnity they warrant, hoping hope transforms to deliverance.

Two shorter pieces follow: 'Unquiet' and 'Folk Tale'. Both are atmospheres or mysteries reinforcing the main statement work.