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Hoi Oligoi

The earliest pieces were written back in 2004 as part of the lost ideas I had at University and have been resurrected from their midi sleep using the Notation app on the iPad. A miraculous little tool that allowed me to return to these hidden tracks and give them a new voice. They would have belonged to the Under the Feet of Giants collection had I the time to complete them but when they were fresh and new I did not think they were finished. It was only by going back to them after almost ten years that I realised they were as done as could be. I certainly couldn't reconstruct the complex and detailed mythology and meaning that usually underpins the work I do for piano or quartet.

These older works sat along side some altogether new tracks as I compiled and remade, which led me to group the remaining pieces together under this title. The very new tracks seem to be bridges between the old written way of working and a more natural improvisational approach and the juxtaposition of the two styles drew me to the idea of duality. Present in many of the tracks are a natural pairing or mirroring. The first and last tracks drawn from the same stems, the Semantic-Syntactic trilogy dealing with what is heard and what is understood as being separate entities, the old and the new music, the past and the present.

That is why I named the collection Hoi Oligoi, the few, in contrast to Hoi Poloi, the many or, in the strictest sense, the majority. Drawing meaning from slang for the rich and powerful (Oligarchy) but the element of that I am drawing on here is that which is controlled by a few prominent elements who pass their influence from one generation to the next. There are a few core points of information held in these pieces that have both inherited their structure from what has gone before but also they are seeding the next generation.


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