Spike- for piano trio (Violin, Bass clarinet and piano)
The title of this work comes from the colloquial name for a workhouse. The term seems to have come into use after the establishment of the poor law in 1834, and is most widely known from the 1931 essay by George Orwell ("The Spike").
The trio was written in two short bursts of activity in 2013 and 2017, both during times when nativism and nascent Fascism reared their rabid heads. The insight and level-headedness of George Orwell’s writing provided clarity, if small comfort, and evoked a musically violent response in me. A mixture of Orwell's sentiment from his essay and the heightened, feverish anger and expressionism of three of my favourite artists, George Grosz, Otto Dix and James Ensor, lurk in the not-too-distant background.