This project has been part funded by the Dedham Vale AONB and the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Sustainable Development Fund


The Idea Behind Ducks & Trains

It came to me suddenly. I was being a bit stupid really - I couldn't think of a unifying theme for my show, something that would tie it all together, something that would help me write some new stuff too. I rarely listen to Radio 3 but it was on in the background and I heard a track that I found very unusual and interesting - it was by the American composer Steve Reich and it was called 'Different Trains'. And as soon as the announcer said that title, the idea hit me - I had lots of poems about trains and journeys (and some other ideas that I could develop). Now I had something!

Steve Reich's Different Trains is actually about his Jewish heritage - it seems that his parents were divorced when he was a kid and he spent a lot of his childhood on trains going back and forth between the two houses. Of course, meanwhile at the same time in Germany, his Jewish ancestors were travelling on very different trains...

I particularly like the way Reich uses some words and phrases in the piece - the sort of thing that you would hear on a train journey ('New York to Boston') - and then actually turns the words into a musical echo. Have a listen - to this short excerpt of a live performance on Youtube.

Page 1 ... 11 12 13 14 15