The Swan’s Artistic Director David Le Page tells us about his inspiration for his special arrangement of Brian Eno’s An Ending (Ascent) arranged for Harp, Violin & Orchestra.
havingto isolate.The students he’d been teaching cello to took part anyway though and everyone had a brilliant, fun time playing the instruments the Birmingham Music Hub had lent the students for this project.
Emotionally Intense Solo Violin
In my arrangement I wanted to capture the essence of Eno’s version – that sense of wonder, as if the eyes are always lifted towards the sky. I used strings, underpinned by a bell-like harp and a slowly rising and emotionally intense solo violin line; the violin and the harp create perspective and depth. The simple structure consists of a repeated sequence, shortened by a few bars every other time and melody and harmony lines that overlap in an almost improvised manner. I wanted my version to have a palpable sense of direction and a moment towards which everything coalesced – a high point. It builds imperceptibly to an overwhelming apex then quite rapidly dissolves.
My aim was to access Eno’s studio work through the contrasting prism of live orchestral textures. That relationship between the listener and a recorded work – particularly one which is heard often – becomes very personal. An arrangement – or reimagining – is a way of bringing that relationship to life. The oral tradition also comes into play in regard to transcribing for different instruments and it is thrilling to discover the unexpected creative possibilities that can occur through mishearing and misunderstanding.