After the Requiem (Septet)


Duration c.25’
Instrumentation: electric guitar, bass clarinet, electric keyboard, 2 violas, cello, double bass
First performance: La Botanique, Brussels, October 15th 1998

After the Requiem (1990)

The original After the Requiem had been written in 1990 for the electric guitar of Bill Frisell, plus 2 violas and cello (members of the Balanescu Quartet) specially for a recording by ECM. It is based on Cadman Requiem (1989) which had been written for the Hilliard Ensemble in memory of my friend and sound engineer Bill Cadman, who was killed in the Lockerbie air crash. The piece is "after" the Requiem both in the musical sense of being based on it, in the chronological sense of following on from it, and in the spiritual sense of representing that state which remains after mourning is (technically) over.

I had delayed for some time any live performance, preferring to see if it would be possible to find a moment when my diary and that of Bill Frisell might coincide. When this proved impossible I modified the piece slightly to perform it with my ensemble, featuring my guitarist James Woodrow and changing the string trio parts to viola, cello and bass (for myself to play).  In 1998 however I made an new version to include other players in my ensemble - bass clarinet, second viola, electric keyboard - and extended the music at the same time. I added a prelude to feature the solo bass clarinet, a section within the body of the music and an extension to the end which drew on the original source Invention of Tradition, for which Bill Cadman had done the sound design. I also lengthened the section in which the guitar improvises. This is the version which I now prefer to play with my own ensemble.

The dedication remains to the two Bills (Cadman and Frisell).