Programme Notes – Velocity

In 2014 I wrote the six-minute ‘Velocity’ for Clare Hammond. I have always admired Clare’s constant championing of new music and how she integrates new works with those of the standard repertoire to attract audiences into listening out of their comfort zones. The genesis for this piece was a 1994 film, ‘Speed’, in the middle section of which Sandra Bullock is compelled to drive a bus, always above 50 mph, through city traffic to stop a bomb from detonating on board. I have attempted to capture the spirit of this wonderfully frenetic sequence in six minutes of utmost freneticism – Prestissimo accelerando. The direction of the piece swerves from extreme abrasiveness to something more streamlined as the music takes flight.