Towards the Blue Horizon
Composed by M. Orriss
For Flute Choir
Published by Wonderful Winds
Includes score and parts
3 G Treble Flutes
4 C Flutes
2 Alto Flutes
2 Bass Flutes
Contra Alto Flute in G (optional)
Contrabass Flute in C
Double Contrabass Flute in C (optional)
This piece is a Suite of five Folk tunes based around the theme of water.
The first is a wistful Northumbrian tune: “The Waters of Tyne”. The words of the original song tell of two lovers separated by the River Tyne and this is protrayed by the two solo flutes who pass the tune from the back of the space to within the orchestra.
The second tune is an energetic Scottish Strathspey: “Salmon Tails Up the Water”.
The third tune, which forms the central section of the piece is the slow Irish Air “Anach Cuain”. This tells the story of a river tragedy in 1869 in which a boat sank under mysterious circumstances drowning nineteen of its passengers. In the opening interlude of this section the sound of oars pulling through the water is suggested by players by breathing in and out of the partly closed tube of the flute. This interlude was also inspired by the melodeon playing of Laurie Dover (to whom the piece is dedicated), and the celebration of his life with fire and music. The solo flute in this section develops motifs from the Air to tell of the soul's struggle to escape its earthly ties.
The chorale section that follows rises to lead into two light hearted, celebratory Irish tunes.
“The Tipsy Sailor” is first heard as a swaggering low flute solo (accompanied by dubiously tuned drones), and then moves up through the sections of the orchestra to the hiccupping piccolo. We are then refreshed by “Give Us a Drink of Water”, a lively slip jig which gathers pace and leads into a recapitulation of “Anach Cuain” under which “The Tipsy Sailor” paddles at full speed. The piece ends as it has begun, with a single flute.