Forest of Dreams
Duration: 10 minutes
The starting point for this work was a painting by Goya of an old, deserted, dark house in the middle of a forest. The image was disturbing and led me to think of the various legends and stories involving forests – Der Freischutz, Siegfried, Hansel & Gretel and Melusine are all examples foremost in my mind together with, of course, the Forest of Arden with Oberon, Titania and Puck. The idea was further reinforced when I received the commission from the Thüringen Philharmonie who are based in the region of the Thüringen forest which is itself a place of myth and legend.
I have suffered from insomnia for many years and rarely enjoy a full night’s sleep. I often work during the long watches of the night whilst snatching such brief patches of sleep as possible. The opening of this work portrays this kind of disturbed sleep when fragments of dreams not only drift in and out of one’s mind but also link together in a perverse way to form a bizarre and surreal narrative. This uneasy nocturne is veiled in mists rather as are the initial ideas for a composition itself. Ideas appear momentarily and then disappear into the mist before one can catch hold of them whilst the shifting harmonic mist is forever present.