Earthline is a companion to my acousmatic piece Skyline (2016). The earlier work develops and extends the sound of a Blackbird recorded in my garden at dawn one summer morning. In Earthline, eleven individual phrases from these same Blackbird recordings are slowed down and lowered in pitch, revealing the alien world of their inner detail and bringing them in the bass flute range. This is the source material for the bass flautist, who evokes the distinctive vocal shapes and strange colourations of the Blackbird’s song using a variety of highly virtuosic colouristic techniques.
Earthline was composed for flautist Richard Craig, and premiered by him at the Bangor Music Festival in 2019.