Time, The Deer for contrabass clarinet: Soliloquy for Sarah

Piers Hellawell (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


'Time, The Deer' was commissioned by Sarah Watts for her 'Ten Wee Drams' project on the Isle of Raasay, a set of commissions designed to feature her new contrabass clarinet. It was premiered there with the other works on 11 April 2019.

Raasay is just celebrated not only for its natural beauty but for its bard, Somhairle Mac Ill Eain. My piece is a small tribute to his celebrated elegy Hallaig, taking its opening as its title: ‘Time, the deer, is in Hallaig wood’. The bard uses the deer to symbolize passing time; the piece juxtaposes two materials, taking its cue from the poem. Firstly a leisurely slow air stands for the timeless dimension, while secondly energetic bursts from the low register of this magnificent instrument bring us to the present, among the streams, rustling bushes and bird calls of the village.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherEdition Peters; complete set published by Scottish Music Information Centre
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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