The Cortège

It Starts Here

This was the final part of The Cortège to be written. I made a last minute decision to begin the concert with a strong, energetic piece. It consists of a riff in 11/4 (i.e. repeated figure) with chords changing every three bars instead of 2s, 4s, or 8s, which tend to be the usual bar structures in jazz. The three bar division gives, I think, an urgency to the piece; it seems to be always moving ahead, and the 11/4 rhythm, which breaks down into three bars of 3/4 and one of 2/4 has the same effect- a racing feeling. The roots of the chords move in a sequence derived from the original nine-note pattern:

Chords

So in this first piece some of the chief structural elements in The Cortège are present. Later in The Cortège there are passages of elaborate scoring for the orchestra, but here the effect is of direct, unsubtle scoring - the basic and exciting sound of a lot of people doing the same thing at the same time. There is an alto sax solo by Chris Hunter and guitar solo by Brian Godding.

"lt Starts Here ” was written in a hurry, and perhaps expresses a feeling of eagerness, of impatience to get started. During the week of daily rehearsals at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, prior to the premiere, the composition was put together - an exciting process. Later, further reflection led me to change some of the arrangements thrown together during that week. “It Starts Here ", however, has a spontaneity about it that I have so far not wanted to change. 


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