A group of ravens is called a ‘conspiracy’ – a fitting name for these intelligent, beautiful and sonically fascinating beings. Ravens hold huge mystery and fascination for me. In The Raven Conspiracy for string quartet, I explore themes sourced from ravens, each of which became a movement of the piece.
Sticks and Bones is a musical form of a creation myth – where did the ravens come from? A nest, deep in the earth made of sticks and bones, and as the ravens cracked out of their shells and clawed their way to the surface their feathers were singed and burned to a shiny black.
Waltz of wing and claw reflects the ravens’ aerial dance when they swoop and dive, rise and hang suspended, all in a mesmerizing shaded synchronicity.
Something Shiny is a movement that evokes the ravens’ playfulness, mischief, jaunty stride and jangling song.
The Raven Conspiracy was written for the Penderecki Quartet, and was supported by the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre’s Mentorship Program. The Penderecki Quartet premiered the work during their NWT tour in September 2013. Thanks to the Quartet, to NACC and also to Canadian North for allowing me to attend the premiere.