I was very honoured to work with the wonderful City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra and their conductor Martin McHale on my recent piece for orchestra, River Image, which was premiered in its new version by the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Taylor in 2019. 
RIVER IMAGE is a depiction of the ever-changing identities of the Taff (South Wales) and the Thames (South England) across their course, over the seasons, and from night to day — these contrasts are presented like a multi-faceted crystal, slowly turning and revealing new colours embedded within.
The first image is a joyful picture of the rustling of fast flowing water, rippling chirps of nearby birds, and reflections of clouds playing on the stream’s surface. Listen out for the repeated two-note stutter first introduced by the oboe that transforms into many different guises throughout the piece; an exciting syncopation in the flutes, a soaring melody in the Eb clarinet, and a heroic fanfare in the trumpets. 
The second, darker mood is inspired by the artificial re-routed rivers that flow beneath both towns feeding Reading’s canals and that fuelled Cardiff’s busy water-side trade dating back centuries. As the water creeps below the surface, a dark chugging rhythm drives the momentum of the music to uncomfortable lurches.
The performance took place in Stanwell Road Baptist Church, Penarth, Cardiff. CCSO sounded absolutely amazing - diolch!