That Decio piece was frightening!"
Audience member at premiere of '...and the moon is dead'
When my father became head-caretaker of Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham in 1974 I was permitted to play the school organ in the hall in an evening when no one else was around. This was the perfect opportunity to play very loud! And a great opportunity to explore the fascinating sounds that the organ can produce.
My first major organ composition was inspired by the words of JRR Toklien, taken from The Lord of the Rings - when the hobbits become trapped by barrow wights, Frodo suddenly hears the chant - 'Never 'til the sun fails'. It was the rhythm of this rhyme that gave me the idea for the opening theme of the Prelude, which is then developed further throughout the work and the following Toccata. (See also Organ Concerto)
'...and the moon is dead' - is a theme and variations, which build slowly to a catastrophic climax involving the organist playing as many notes as possible with both forearms! (We have to ask if the organ can take this kind of treatment before performing it in a concert - it usually can)
Requiem was written in memory of my mother. (Please also see Maidan Pro Defunctis for orchestra)
The quiet and sublime Prelude makes much use of the pedals against sustained chords.
Processional is a glorious wedding piece.
Study - 'Joy and the reason for it', is a technical study, which loosens the fingers .....and the mind!