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The general inspiration for the music was an idea of Durham, garnered from two or three short visits and a reading of a short history - so a sort of “Durham of the mind”, a stylized Durham; 'my' Durham, if you will, imagined into music. However, the defininginspiration for the piece was the Cathedral.
My first visit to Durham in 2001 saw me standing open-mouthed on Palace Green, and then in silent awe as I walked into that formidable magnificence inside. Most of the themes came from the days immediately following my first experience of this extraordinary, inspiring building. The feeling that the very stones and pillars themselves are imbued with centuries of prayer, withpeople's joy, grief, despair, even anger; gratitude and hope. As the tunes and chords and sounds started to organize themselves in my mind and onto manuscript paper, I realized that I was writing a sort of “day in the life of Durham”, and that the Cathedral wouldbe its beginning, would be in its middle, and would be at its ending.
The piece consists of six 'pictures' arranged into three parts - the morning, afternoon and evening of this imaginary Durham city.
Jon Lord, 2017
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