Fear of Falling

Chamber orchestra

A fear of falling is not always the same as a fear of heights – the fall in question can be as small as a slip of a foot while walking on solid ground, or tripping over one’s own shoelaces. Fear of Falling explores questions of collapse and stability in music, with ‘falls’ ranging from portamento between adjacent notes to long, dissonant glissandi.

The piece grew out of the idea of a collapsing string chord and contrasts the disintegrating string parts with sturdier music in the winds, brass and percussion. The strings, having started from a point of total collapse, work towards an ideal of stability to conquer their fear.

First performance: Blackheath Halls, 8 March 2013. Conducted by Gregory Rose