Neko: Meowing, Pacing, Purring
For Solo Trumpet
Duration: 3 mins approx.
My solo trumpet piece, Neko: Meowing, Pacing, Purring was composed for Alfonso González Barquín who had requested that I write something for him to perform at the 2019 Fukushima International Music Festival. The festival’s theme for that year was The Cat, and, as a cat-lover myself, I was rather taken with his proposal.
Structured in three distinct sections - each finishing with a mimesis of purring - the piece responds to both the utterances and movements of cats. The opening episode imagines a cat nimbly trotting down a flight of stairs, pausing every so often to meow for attention, before a slower central section explores the more deliberate side to feline movements in a quasi march that echoes the swaggering purpose with which cats strut and stalk. The final episode then reimagines the opening trotting idea at a faster tempo and in the trumpet’s upper register, resulting in something altogether more skittish. In writing this closing section I had in mind the short bursts of hyperactivity that see cats tear wildly around a room, as if at war with themselves.
Despite its overt extra-musical stimulus, Neko is not, however, a programmatic work - no tale is being told through the music - but I hope nevertheless that it contains the essence of a cat’s character within its short duration.