I wanted this piece to sound dramatic and powerful yet poised and balanced; a musical reflection of Jamie’s fantastic image of the Red Arrows suspended in mid air with white plumes, like long swan’s necks, behind. I begin the piece with a repeated single note which grows, like the planes on the horizon drawing nearer, then bring in low octaves as the low drone of the engines become audible. The key is C minor, the same key used by Beethoven in his 5th symphony. There are several ‘swoops’ from low notes to high notes, interspersed with development of the repeated chord idea form the beginning. At the end of the piece the music moves to G major (which I think sounds more regal) and incorporates the melody notes of the National Anthem, richly harmonised, before a final swoop like the fly past at the end of an aerial display.
Majestic & all powerful, balanced and poised; take flight red swans with your tails of white. An anthem for the skies – red, white, blue ships; patriotic splendour, in thundering sound and sight.