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‘Inertia’ by Màiri Macleod

Written in 2009 for Clàrsach & Electro Harp, Marimba & CD, ‘Inertia’ is to be played by two players, live against the pre-recorded track for the first movement. A basic beat is provided in the score as a guide to follow the pre-recorded music.

Composer’s notes, March 2009:

‘Inertia’ started out as an experimental idea to combine Clàrsach (Celtic Harp), Marimba and Electronics, to develop a genre within music technology. I had always been interested in Electro-acoustic music but had never created an opportunity to make it happen for myself. What had started out as only an idea of grandeur then became reality in September ’08 when I met Ross Garrod, a percussionist at the RNCM, also studying in my year.

We set about to investigate the combination of Clàrsach and Marimba and found that writing for each instrument was very similar. By studying marimba writing I incorporated typical Marimba patterns into my music while also staying true to the texture of the Clàrsach. Many times during rehearsal we swapped parts and found that a particular phrase worked better on our own instruments which turned us upside down with amazement.

The ‘technology’ writing had me blocked for many months. Insecurity with software knowledge slowed me down and often inhibited me but perseverance paid off when the ‘Slow Air’ was successfully molded into a beautiful passage - a dialogue between three unsuspecting instruments creating an ambience for the instrumental relations throughout the piece.

The following ‘Jig’ and ‘Reel’ had been developed acoustically very successfully so I felt that the continuation of the CD part would not celebrate the union of the three instruments but would unintentionally interfere with the exciting new relationship between the Clàrsach and Marimba.

The process of writing ‘Inertia’ was longer than I had initially anticipated, as I was starting from scratch with an ensemble of new instrumentation, but it certainly was not a tedious project. We had hours of fun and built a strong instrumental relationship together. As a result ‘Inertia’ has become a very personal piece which has embraced our personalities and this has made it very rewarding for us both.

‘Inertia’ was premièred at the Colin Currie Masterclass on the 3rd March 2009 at The Royal Northern College of Music.

Our current publications.....

‘Prayer’ by Màiri Macleod

Written in 2010 and the winning entry of the Clarsach Society’s Young Composer 2010 competition, ‘Prayer’ was premiered at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in April 2011.

Composer’s notes, April 2011:

"Music, for me, is very thought provoking. My writing is very focussed on emotion and current inspirations. ‘Prayer’ is a piece that started very late at night when a sudden idea came to me during a moment of personal conflict. It comforted me in the perfect way but out of it came more questions…. Many months later another moment prompted me to finish the piece and my

‘Prayer’ was answered, through music.”

Suitable for all types of Harp but originally written for the Scottish Traditional Harp (Clàrsach) in the key of Ab Major.

sample of Inertia.....

Section 1 - Slow air

Section 2 - Jig

Section 3 - Reel


sample of Prayer.....