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Stuart MacRae

Publisher: Novello & Co

Landscape and the Mind: Distance, Refuge (1997)
chosen for the BBC Symphony Orchestra's Composers' Forum, 1997
Novello & Co Ltd
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Programme Note
Stuart MacRae Landscape and the Mind: Distance, Refuge (1997)
While I was in the early stages of writing this piece I heard a radio programme which discussed the attraction to the human mind of landscape painting in terms of distance - that is, the opportunity to see things out of one's immediate environment - and refuge, the safe and secure vantage point from which it is seen. It was argued that these two aspects, properly balanced, made up an effective landscape painting.

I then thought about this in relation to actual landscapes with which I was familiar, particularly those of Caithness in the north of Scotland, and in London. it occurred to me that if put in the middle of either landscape, the deprivation of refuge and distance respectively could lead to an accentuation of the opposite condition: refuge would become claustrophobia and distance agoraphobia. Both ultimately result in extreme isolation, and this is the main thought that leads to my piece.

© Stuart MacRae

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MacRae made his impact strongly. His was landscape music of a special sort, in which the view approached and receded, sometimes distancing itself into no more than a gleam of light, sometimes threatening to engulf everything.
Conrad Wilson, The Herald,04/05/2002
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