THE DREAMERS - 2022 - 20’
quadruple concerto for four trombones and sixteen players or orchestra
184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11 - pno/cel - 2perc* - harp - 4tbn soloists - 18.104.22.168.1
22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199 - pno/cel - 2perc* - harp - 4tbn soloists - strings
* Player 1 (drumkit): pedal bass drum, snare drum, two high toms, floor tom, hi-hat, crash cymbal / Player 2: prepared ukulele, orchestral bass drum (securely mounted), orchestral snare drum, 6 concert toms, prepared vibraphone, suspended cymbal
THE DREAMERS was commissioned by Britten Pears Arts for Aldeburgh Festival, to be performed on the 5th of June 2022 by Slide Action Trombone Quartet, Britten Pears Contemporary Ensemble, and conductor Jonathan Berman.
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Frequent viewers of British television are likely to be familiar with a certain genre of advertisement: “here’s to the dreamers!”, it might begin, “to the early morning ones and the late sleepers” it may continue. A kind of quasi-poetry essentially listing people by lifestyle and personality traits; “to the big spenders and the deal-finders, the big night out types and the quiet night in types”. The prevalence of this kind of advert, and the variety of banal services and items being advertised through them, is considerable, and led me to begin to reflect on what this might mean to me aesthetically.
These kinds of adverts attempt to inject a sense of grandeur into the mundanity of the 21st century consumer existence - they call out to and praise their potential customers, listing as many vague traits as they can in the hope of giving as many people as possible the feeling of having been identified. I felt this to be somehow tragic - these endless, meaningless lists selling meaningless things, through the medium of an advertisement designed to seem heroic or uplifting.
While writing THE DREAMERS, this sense of tragedy mixed with banality and uplifting heroism was at the forefront of my mind. The work is in five movements, of which the fourth is for the four trombone soloists alone, running directly into the finale. - Robin Haigh
The pieces were lively, imaginative and skilfully crafted - a revealing insight into the mentalities of today's millennials - Frankfurter Allgemeine (translated)