Jungle Night

It is not every day one has the opportunity to make music with a member of their family but, the last few days have been spent dissecting various oboe fingerings with my little sister, Elen.

Elen is currently in the final year of her Bachelor course at Guildhall, and I promised her that I would write a solo piece for her final recital. Elen asked me for a lyrical piece that realises some sort of narrative, so I have chosen two lines from a poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Nicolson) to use as my motivation:

Whilst every gust of the Jungle night
Was fanning the flame you have set alight.

These lines are taken from the seventh stanza of The Teak Forest, which features in Hope’s inaugural volume entitled The Garden of Kama And other Love Lyrics from India. The material for these poems is not derived from any identifiable Indian source but rather, is reminiscent of Sufi poetry by way of its spiritual undertone and rhythmic flow. These are poems that summon powerful imagery while communicating an overriding impression of peace, love and kindliness.

Premiere: 12pm on 3 June 2021, GSMD