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chambered cairn

2017 - violin, viola, cello c. 8'

Composed as part of the CoMA Orkney Summer Course 2017

I am currently working to build an online shop for pdf scores.

In the meantime, to access the full score for perusal or purchase please contact me via the contact page

"The most exciting thing in Orkney, perhaps in Scotland, is going to happen this afternoon at sunset, in few other places even in Orkney can you see the wide hemisphere of sky in all its plenitude.
The winter sun just hangs over the ridge of the Coolags. Its setting will seal the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. At this season the sun is a pale wick between two gulfs of darkness. Surely there could be no darker place in the be-wintered world than the interior of Maeshowe.

One of the light rays is caught in this stone web of death. Through the long corridor it has found its way; it splashes the far wall of the chamber. The illumination lasts a few minutes, then is quenched

Winter after winter I never cease to wonder at the way primitive man arranged, in hewn stone, such powerful symbolism."

- George Mackay Brown


This piece was composed during my undergraduate studies while attending a summer course in Orkney run by CoMA. Chambered Cairn refers to the famous neolithic landmark Maeshowe, a burial cairn with four chambers. Its long stone entrance passage aligns perfectly with the setting sun on the eve of the Winter Solstice. It was build around 5,000 years ago. 


Though it is now quite an old piece, I am still very fond of it and I am hoping to rework it and make it available for sting trios. If this sounds like something you would be interested in programming or performing, please do get in touch via the contact page



Workshopped and recorded during the CoMA Orkney Summer Course 2017

Violin - Max Baillie

Viola - Ruth Gibson 

Cello - Robin Michael

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