“Mare Tranquillitatis” follows the journey of Apollo 11 from Earth to the Moon. The first movement describes the take-off – exciting, energetic and ebullient. In the second movement, the pace slows as the astronauts look down on Earth. The third movement implies a sense of danger when the astronauts approach the Moon. The main theme returns as the landing starts, followed by a finale as the Eagle touches down.
It was performed by the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Duncan Ward, on 13th August 2019 at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, and broadcast on Radio 3 the following week. You can hear it on the BBC’s website – scroll forward to 2 hours 25 mins into the broadcast.
Runner-up in the Oxfordshire Young Composers Competition 2019, and winner of the Orchestra’s Choice award. Performed by the Oxfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra in March 2019 (in which I play percussion).
The basis of the piece is a hornpipe-like melody, but I find folk music most interesting when it meets other forms of music. So a “phorepin” is a mixed up hornpipe with missing beats, orchestral interludes and loud, percussion lines.