For horn, bassoon, cello, drums, electric guitar and piano - c. 10'
This work, completed in April 1991, is scored for a predominantly low-pitched ensemble of bassoon, cello, horn, electric guitar and piano, with the cellist and guitarist later moving to various drums. Rather than describing the work, the composer recounts a dream "the atmosphere of which, I hope, imbues this piece of music". "A cold, northern landscape with mist and moon. The early hours of morning in a place of ancient mixed woodland, with a few open patches of scrub and heath. I was led to a clearing in a wood. Who led me? All I know is that it was more than one person. There was a piece of raised earth - a large grave, an ancient barrow. Drum noises came from it. I was told that if I banged on the barrow with the long wooden pole I was carrying, the drums would become louder, faster and more excitable in answer to me. I tried it and indeed it was so; it felt, perhaps, like disturbing an ants nest - I had invaded a whole world. Then the ground split open and a child in a cradle of twigs was born from the grave. His body was very pale in the moonlight against the cold earth." Barrow was commissioned with funds from Eastern Arts by Jane's Minstrels. The first performance was given by Jane's Minstrels at the Spitalfields Festival, London in June 1991.