Quangle Quadrille was written as part of Adopt a Composer 2013-14. Jenni Pinnock was paired with the Quangle Wangle Choir (qwchoir.co.uk), and together they collaborated to decide upon the perfect topic and text for the piece. The topics (weather and migratory birds) were decided upon by the choir, and their words, phrases and text have been incorporated into the final text (see the text analysis on the next pages).
The piece begins with the shipping forecast, before a sea of harmonies appear, floating over and around the details of the forecast. The journey of the migratory birds then begins as they journey from across the British Isles to Dorset, on their epic adventure to sunnier shores. The birds swoop over the countryside before collecting on Portland, chattering on telephone lines and waiting for the right moment to begin the next stage. Suddenly they launch across the sea of harmonies as they soar over the channel. As their journey continues and they disappear into the distance, their Latin names emerging from the texture with African rhythms symbolising their intended destination.
Quangle Quadrille contains several sections of variable length, ensuring the piece will be different every time it is performed – just as the journey the migratory birds make is never identical. The piece is roughly ten minutes in length, but can be shorter or longer at the conductor’s discretion.
Special thanks go to all those who offered advice, support and assistance with Quangle Quadrille, including Colin Riley, Tom Pinnock and the whole of the Quangle Wangle choir. Special thanks to Juliet Harwood for all her time analysing, reviewing and scrutinising the score at the various stages of its creation, and her advice and guidance throughout.