For those of you who don't know, Colnbrook is a village on the east side of Berkshire, tucked in between the junction of the M4 and M25 motorways. It is also on the final approach to Heathrow! I worked as a visiting music teacher in the local primary school for a short while, and had a generally marvellous time – quite how the children dealt with the noise I will never know.
When I left, I wrote this suite for the recorder players at the school as a thank you gift. The first piece depicts a calm high street just before the school run begins – in spite of the location, the place could be remarkably quiet. At lunchtimes I would walk up the same high street to the shop for lunch, and on my journey watch all the local delivery drivers negotiate the chicanes, speed bumps and parked cars, usually at high speed. This was the inspiration for the second piece. And finally, after a busy day, I would drive past the children walking home, some smiling and laughing together, some arguing or larking around, others quite alone. The third piece depicts this happy exodus, and also recalls the vans, their weaving in and out, and the calm that would eventually descend on the street once more.