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Ayre to Sound


A little five movement suite for clarinet in Bb and piano

Ayre to SoundChris Sullivan (clarinet) and Matthew Warren (piano)
00:00 / 08:25

Commissioned by Luca Ferrini for Music from the Islands.

The piece is made up of three short fantasias, alternating with two airs based on Manx folk tunes originally commussioned by Culture Vannin.

Ayre to Sound

  1. Fantasia - Barrule

  2. Air - The Sea Invocation

  3. Fantasia - The Chasms

  4. Air - Ushag Veg Ruy

  5. Fantasia - Niarbyl

The piece was premiered at The Manx Music, Speech, and Dance Festival ('The Guild'), where it won the composition prize and was awarded a distinction.

Full Programme Note:

A little suite of airs and fantasias for clarinet in Bb and piano. The three miniature fantasias are written and named after places on the Isle of Man. The two airs are based on two Manx tunes: The Sea Invocation and Ushag Veg Ruy, and were originally written for the film Island Utopias. The northern tip of the Isle of Man (in Manx, Ellan Vannin) is known as the Point of Ayre, and the southern as the Sound after the small channel between the main island and the small islands to the south west, Kitterland and The Calf of Man. Between the two is a landscape and culture that has inspired this music.

  1. Fantasia - Barrule refers to two hills: South Barrule and North Barrule. South Barrule (Baarool Jiass in Manx) is known as the seat of the legendary ruler of Mann, Manannan, an association that is evoked in the lines from the Manx national anthem: "Built firm as Barrule, / Thy throne of home rule / Makes us free as thy sweet mountain air."

  2. Air - The Sea Invocation is a Manx folk song collected in the early 20th Century that wishes for fortune and safety for fishermen at sea.

  3. Fantasia - The Chasms is a stretch of three hundred foot tall cliffs on the southern coast that is fissured from top to bottom.

  4. Air - Ushag Veg Ruy is a Manx lullaby that sings of a little red bird in search of a place to sleep for the night.

  5. Fantasia - Niarbyl, which translates as 'the tail', is a rocky promontory that reaches out into the Irish sea from the Western coast of the Isle of Man. Commissioned for the "Music from the islands" project.

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