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Craig Armstrong

Publisher: Chester Music

One Minute (2005)
Commissioned for the opening of Perth Concert Hall on 16 September 2005
Work Notes
Piece for full orchestra and visual artists Dalziel + Scullion
Chester Music Ltd
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Programme Note
Craig Armstrong One Minute (2005)
When first approached by Horsecross to create a work for the new Perth Concert Hall we were excited by the idea of working together. Our practices though diverse in nature and scale had shared areas of interest. We had long discussions about the form that the work should take. From here the idea of one minute pieces with both pictures and music existing within their own time and space fell into place.

In contemporary life there is a perception that time and space are being constantly compressed. This is an idea that fascinated us. In a curious way the Japanese haiku poem reflects this wonderfully: the discipline and economy of three lines that refuse to hint at a final meaning, that mean nothing beyond themselves, yet the reader can plunge into infinite depths within its short lines. This was how the filming of the cloud sequences for this piece was treated.

It was vitally important to the work that the visual and musical elements were intrinsically connected. Sounds recorded with each film are used in the musical composition; sometimes these are manipulated electronically, other times used as found.

A major part of composing One Minute was how the individual parts would combine together. For this, each of the minute pieces has a strict harmonic plan starting from Knoydart which begins with a pentatonic scale (5 notes) adding one note for each movement; eventually Crimond uses all 12 notes of the chromatic scale. From here each movement decreases one note at a time returning to Perth and back to the pentatonic scale. The piece therefore is in an arch form from tonality through chromaticism back to tonality. Visually and musically the piece is complimented by nature.

Craig Armstrong, Dalziel + Scullion

  • Ensemble
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Lucy Crowe, Soprano; Clio Gould, violin;
    Garry Walker
    Virgin Classics:
  • 26 JUN 2008
    Memory Takes My Hand European Premiere
    One Minute Country Premiere
    Visconti Country Premiere
    Immer Country Premiere
    Festival de Saint-Denis
    Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis, Paris
    Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France; Choeur Sequenza 9.3
    Ann de Renias, soprano; Clio Gould violin; Craig Armstrong Piano; Garry Walker, conductor
  • 16 SEP 2005
    One Minute World Premiere
    Horsecross, Perth Concert Hall, Scotland
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Garry Walker, conductor

Armstrong's new work - a collaboration with Dundee-based film artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion - was the most successfully projected event of the evening. Musically it is filmic - a sequence of short impressions, based on Scottish destinations, mirroring video footage of shifting clouds and the odd definable landmark - and combines a sort of washy contemporary impressionism with electronic sound recordings.
Kenneth Walton, ,01/01/0001
Craig Armstrong's spacious music for One Minute, whose gorgeous sonic landscape was an evocative soundtrack to the 15 short skyscape films by Dalziel + Scullion.
Michael Tumelty , The Herald,01/01/0001
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