Colin Riley’s Das Kleinste Speil Der Blatter will receive its World Premiere on Thursday 27 January with Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bramwell Tovey at Helsingborg Konserthus, Helsingborg.
Das Kleinste Speil Der Blatter (The Smallest Play of Leaves) is the third piece from Colin’s orchestral cycle Earth Voices. The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra are premiering each of the pieces in turn every month culminating in a complete performance of the 45 minute work on 14 May 2022.
Colin tells us the story and inspiration behind this work:
“Within the looming shadow of the climate crisis this piece asks the simple question ‘what is the earth telling us to do?’ Perhaps it is asking us to listen with more intention, know ourselves better, change unworkable systems, realise our narrow time horizons, dance, find joy, love more, learn to live smaller, connect … and to be humble?
The Latin word ‘humus’ means earth and the words humanity and humility also stem from this. I like the idea of becoming grounded in the presence of nature and of laying myself low to be able to engage and listen more deeply to what the earth has to say. Each of the five movements of Earth Voices is a response to these signals from our wise and fragile natural world and celebrates the beauty, wonder and hope to be found in the noticing of it; taking time out, taking things slower, deepening experiences. The music is built from the unpredictable and ever-transforming patterns of nature; fragile, playful, majestic, vulnerable and overwhelming in equal measure.
In February 2020, just before the world went into the lockdown of the Covid 19 pandemic I took a two-day train journey to visit Helsingborg, hear the orchestra play and meet the artistic team. That simple act of defiance against taking the easiest option (that of flying) was pivotal for me. It not only put a marker down in terms of signalling ways for me to live my life going forward but also provided time to contemplate and to experience the transitions of a journey and the connectedness of humans through our landscapes, languages, behaviours and traditions.
Earth Voices is something that is both about our world but also about ourselves. The collection of evocations is really a set of ways to notice our world; to engage more deeply and slowly with it, and to celebrate it with tenderness and care”. (Colin Riley)
III: Das Kleinste Spiel der Blätter (The Smallest Play of Leaves)
A tree is symbolic of something wise and eternal. With their ability to soak up CO2, to shade us and to provide us as children with somewhere to climb upwards they are truly magical. On a beautiful day, to look up through the collectively-dancing tapestry of leaves to a blue sky beyond is surely one of the most beautiful and accessible ways we can connect to nature.
Earth Voices is proudly available through Composers Edition, as well as other works by Colin Riley.