'Renaissance' dates from the beginning of the first national lockdown in the UK - April 2020 - when all concert activity was brought to an immediate halt by the Covid-19 pandemic. My musician friends found that all their work had suddenly dried up, and from my own perspective all deadlines, rehearsals, recordings and performances of my pieces were wiped from the calendar. Meaningful creativity effectively dried up too, since – for me, at any rate – much of the motivation to write emerges from those interactions with performers. It didn’t help that pubs, cafes, art galleries, cinemas, theatres and bookshops were also shut, and the internet held little allure after a long day of online teaching. So ‘Renaissance’ was composed as a heartfelt prayer for rebirth, at a time when we could have no real sense of how long it might take for that moment to arrive.
Following a short introduction, passages of quasi-renaissance polyphony alternate with freer, more decorative episodes. The role of the saxophone in 16th century music has been cruelly overlooked!
'Renaissance' was first performed by the Delta Saxophone Quartet in May 2022.