“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend. “
– Shakespeare’s opening lines from Sonnet 60
I began writing this piece in the days after saying goodbye to a sick friend, and the truth was that I left not knowing if I would ever see them again. The 5 hour journey home provided me with lots of time to think, and my mind kept being drawn back to the opening lines of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 60 (which I had previously read when searching for texts for a four movement choral work commissioned to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death).
This Sonnet as a whole deals with time (and, perhaps the cruelty of the limits that time places on us), and in the opening four lines in particular, I found it to be meditative, reflective, tranquil, philosophical, instructional and visual.
It is in these opening lines that I found the music for Waves Towards the Pebbled Shore.
The work was commissioned by Ray Cramer, Terry Austin, and the Musashino Wind Ensemble, and is dedicated to Terry and Tracia Austin
Peter Meechan 2018