A suite of 3 pieces inspired by a wonderful artist...
1) Bells and Bagpipes
3) Corn Harvest
The first of the three pieces in this suite was written for a beginner recorder group in a primary school, and, in its first incarnation, used only the first three notes beginners traditionally learn, i.e. G, A and B. I happened to be looking at a book of Bruegel paintings at the time, and the thing just morphed from there. The images that inspired the music are:
'The Peasant Dance'...1) Bells and Bagpipes
'Children's Games'.....2) Games
'The Corn Harvest'.....3) Corn Harvest
Bruegel created scenes of immense scope and beauty, but in these depictions of common peasant activities in the Renaissance there is also a sense of the harshness of life. The people in 'The Corn Harvest' seem absolutely exhausted, so much so that they might not care much for their stunning surroundings; I imagine the 'Children's Games' are not always terribly pleasant; and as for the folk in 'The Peasant Dance', well, let's just say that they don't seem particularly adept at dancing. They seem to be going at it with great energy and enthusiasm though, in spite of – or perhaps because of – the distant bells calling them to more spiritual pursuits...