Reverie (1996/1999)

for two pianos

African Journal No 23a
DVD: "Reverie", directed by Aryan Kaganof, played by Jill Richards (piano 1 and 2)
Bardic Edition Published by Bardic Edition BD 0691 (two copies)
Duration: c. 12'30"


First performance: Sunday 31 March 1996; Africa 95, ICA, London, United Kingdom; Sally Rose piano, Antony Gray pianoperformance details.

Programme note

The score is prefaced with lines from Olive Schreiner's novel 'Story of an African Farm': … "of the joy of the dreamer no man knoweth but he who dreameth … without phantoms and dreams man cannot exist." The musical material is derived from two vocal sources, one Shona and one San (Bushman), and is transformed by repetition and extension, superimposition and distortion. I suppose this is the stuff of dreams.

Meanwhile, having revised the work early in 1999, I subsequently noticed many fascinating parallels with the techniques of San rock painting during a visit to the remarkable paintings at Tandjesberg, near Ladybrand in the Free State. The coda was inspired by listening to a whole weekend of concerts of Charles Ives in London.