for flute, harp & viola
‘Muted Dawn’ is a trio made up of seven short movements, inspired by George Shaw’s ‘Ash Wednesday’ series of paintings.
Shaw works with Humbrol enamel (essentially Airfix model-making paints) to depict scenes from the Tile Hill estate in Coventry, where he spent his childhood. To me the works are incredible; small, almost photo-real, but with a kind of uncanny metallic flatness, simultaneously dull and glossy. Ash Wednesday consists of seven snapshots of Shaw’s childhood route to school, taken at half-hour intervals from 6am to 9am.
Having been fascinated by Shaw’s work for a number of years, intrigued by his kind of nostalgic English realism painted in such an unusual and affecting contemporary mode, I sought to explore it in a musical context.
[ Fl.=BFl., Hp., Vla. ]