'brief candles' comprises eight miniatures for solo clarinet, beginning with a 'fanfarando' and taking in a 'djinn', an 'art object', a 'herzlied', an 'arco iris' (rainbow), gold ('Au'), 'a memory of shadow' and then a revisiting of the initial fanfare ('fanfarando redux') along the way. Some of them last mere seconds. They are dedicated to Anthony Gilbert for his 70th birthday.
The initial fanfare came about when I discovered that Cristobal, my Alpujarran bank manager in Spain, played the clarinet. After our meeting, I went home and wrote the opening piece. I took it round to him about an hour later. I never saw him again, and I never even heard if he'd played the piece, but it's thanks to Cristobal that the idea for this piece came about.