this was not a film about a drowning man (2009)

For soprano saxophone, electric guitar, percussion, violoncello and laptop

Commissioned by: The House of Bedlam

Programme Note:

this was not a film about a drowning man takes its title from a remark made by the American video-artist Bill Viola, concerning his work At First Light, the fifth panel of his five-panel video-fresco Going Forth By Day (2002).

At First Light is a sustained single time-lapsed shot which looks out over a huge body of water (a sea or, perhaps a lake) from the shore. An open boat enters the image, filled with people. A member of the party falls overboard and disappears below the surface. After a period of panic, the boat departs from the scene and the sun drifts down behind the horizon. After some considerable time of stillness, a motionless figure (presumably the victim) ascends vertically out of the water and, in almost painfully slow motion, rises soundlessly up through the image and out of shot, into the sky. After more stillness, the sun rises and the boat returns; the returning friends have missed the miracle.

this was not a film about a drowning man was written for the house of bedlam and first performed by them on 17th October 2008 as part of The BMIC's Cutting Edge series at The Warehouse, London.


Score Excerpt:

Approximately 9 minutes