Skyscapes for a Spring Storm

For large choir (SATB), six solo instruments, large orchestra and digital soundscape.

Skyscapes was commissioned by Norfolk Education Authority for the members of its residential orchestral
course at Wymondham College in April 1986. It was workshopped, performed and recorded by over seventy young musicians and their tutors during the course of a single day.

The work sets specially commissioned words by the Norfolk poet Margaret Melicharova who also contributed the poems and prose script to Nigel Morgan’s Spring Manouevres, a documentary montage of music-making in North Norflok which opens and closes with the music of Skyscapes.

The score calls for a large choir, six instrumental soloists (amplified alto flute, cor anglais, viola, guitar and two percussionists), a large orchestra with triple brass and woodwind, and a dramatic digital soundscape for the Yamaha CX5 music computer (then being widely used in Norfolk schools).

During 2006 Nigel Morgan will be revising and extending Skyscapes to make a sequence of four seasonal pieces based on East Anglian sky, sea, coastland and inland ‘scapes’ for performance by Norfolk’s young musicians in 2007, 21 years after the original performance. The new score will also feature the use of new technology: pitch and rhythm composition in IRCAM’s Open Music with interactive sounds and synthesis from the SuperCollider software.


1986 recording [mp3]