Mark Bowden’s Wych Elm, a new trio for flute, harp and viola will be premiered in an online concert with National Youth Arts Wales on Thursday 21 October at 7pm. The concert will be streamed via Zoom and there will be a post-concert talk at 9pm. Tickets are free but registration is essential.
This new trio is a commission by National Youth Arts Wales, which which they’ve recorded and will show as part of this concert.
This short chamber piece in two movements is a reworking of two sections from Act II, Scene 2 of my opera Sea Change. The opera is set in an imagined future where most of society lives under the sea in individual pods, whilst a small group of people survive on the surface. In the part of the scene which inspired the first movement, we see Sedna — leader of the people on the land and voiced by the viola in this transcription — revealing a sapling to her protégé, Anouk. Anouk, voiced here by the flute, has never seen a tree before and asks, “what do you call it?” Sedna reveals it is a Wych Elm, the last of its kind. Later, in the duet which inspired the second movement, Anouk talks of how she heard a voice coming from the sea, she sings “and the voice heard me.” Sedna tries to persuade her it was only a dream, “there is no one else anywhere, beneath the sea, on this land; trust me.” Anouk remains unconvinced and begins to wonder if Sedna is telling the whole truth.Mark Bowden
Wych Elm is proudly available for perusal and purchase through our website.