The Enemy Within (brass band)

Additional Information

This is my most extended piece for band, composed between 2004 and 2010. The title is taken from Margaret Thatcher’s speech to the 1922 Committee in which she compared the threat of striking miners to that of the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands: "In the Falklands we had to fight the enemy without. Here is the enemy within”. The piece is as much autobiographical as political, predominantly a lament for those cultures and communities which were destroyed in the name of a flawed ideology; having grown up in a mining town my sympathies lay firmly with the miners.

The music was originally cast in four movements with descriptive titles: Landscapes, Strata, Hymns and Orgreave, but in the finished piece they have been combined into two movements, and are not intended to be pictorial or descriptive. Both movements begin slowly and softly before erupting into more violent, rhythmic music.

I began composing The Enemy Within as long ago as 2004 but it took me until the autumn of 2010 to complete the score; my musical language was evolving very quickly and I felt as though I was having to reinvent myself with every note I wrote and my personal involvement with the subject only increased the pressure still more. In 2006 I was diagnosed with epilepsy which seemed to give the title a double meaning and which certainly contributed to the painfully protracted creative process.





Date recorded
May 2011
York St John University