Benedict Todd

Organist · Composer · Conductor


Severn Sketches: No. 1

Severn Sketches: No. 1


  • Composed: November - December 2010
  • Duration: c. 9 mins
  • Instrumentation: Piano solo

  • Notes: Assessed composition for MA (Music) - University of Bristol 2011.

  • Programme notes: Living in Wales but working regularly in Bristol means that I often find myself crossing the Severn Bridge, indeed I tend to traverse the river three or four times a week. It is fascinating to watch how the character of the same section of the estuary can be affected so dramatically by the wind, weather and tide conditions. Indeed it is sometimes hard to believe that the extensive sweeping sandbanks which are uncovered at low tide are part of the same river as the vast expanse of water which covers everything when the tide is high.

    This tidal cycle forms the backbone of the structure of Severn Sketches: No. 1: there is material here which forms my response to the various tidal states. But what there is not is a deffinite beginning or end, for it seemed impossible to impose such a concept on a cycle which is, presumably, endless. It is therefore left for the player to decide where to start and end, according to their artistic judgement, although, for instance, the ebb must always follow high water as night must surely follow day, and so the cycle continues.

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