Sciamachy means shadow fighting or battling with an imaginary enemy, usually for practice or exercise but possibly owing to paranoid delusion or quixotic fantasy. So my piece is a both an etude and a fantasia.
In 2010 I composed Suspense for solo saxophone and this new piece (and also my saxophone quartet Swan) draws extensively upon that earlier work. The process is analogous to painters who recycle old canvasses by painting on top of earlier discarded works; some trace or influence of the original remains.
Sciamachy is in two parts, slow then fast. Both sections feature processes which allow the music to gradually unfold, the themes revealing themselves one note at a time but in very different ways.
Schiamachy was commissioned by Late Music and was first performed by Sam Corkin and Timothy End in April 2010.