Jamie’s photograph of Stourhead is absolutely stunning with vibrant autumnal colours framed in a restless, reflected sky. My piece ‘Autumn’ is a musical representation of a walk around the lake at Stourhead. I started with a theme in which the opening four bars are turned upside down and back to front to reflect the formality and geometry of the location. This is then developed throughout the piece as a set of variations. A classical technique called Alberti bass accompanies the first statement of the theme which is then repeated with Baroque style ornamentation as a homage to the classically inspired buildings. A shimmering lake of piano chords follows then dissolves into a more gentle mood as we enter the cosy gothic cottage (where I have regularly enjoyed a glass of mulled wine). Finally the theme calms as we descend into the Grotto, a deliberate reflection of Orpheus’ descent into the Underworld, a major influence on the garden design at Stourhead.
Against our head the Autumn breeze, as once again Stourhead enthralls. Classical, Baroque, bridge o’er lake, then comfort cottage before, like Aeneas, we descend to hidden depths.