Duration: 8′

  • for String Trio, Violin, viola, cello
  • 1. Edge | 2. Fall
  • Gemini Publications
  • Commissioned by the audience of Music in the Village, Walthamstow
  • First performance 15th April 2010 – Lendvai String Trio – The Ancient Church of St Mary’s Walthamstow, London

Time Between Tides was commissioned by the audience of Music in the Village, Walthamstow, with financial assistance from the RVW Trust, for the Lendvai String Trio. The first performance was given by the Lendvai String Trio in The Ancient Church of St Mary’s Walthamstow, London, on 15 April 2010. Time Between Tides received its second performance by the Lendvai String Trio on 18 May 2010 at Imperial College, London.

  • I Edge: ‘gleaming along its edge’
  • II Fall: ‘falling down into the story’

Time Between Tides was inspired by the vivid and shimmering imagery of Cliff Fall, in which the poet and broadcaster, Seán Street, gives the powerful illusion of a man falling, ‘a single figure framed in the cliff’s spun moment.’ When Seán Street made a radio programme at Samphire Hoe, Kent, he discovered that the cliff, below which the Hoe lies, was called ‘Shakepeare’s’ cliff, where the ‘dreadful trade’ of gathering Samphire occurs in King Lear. The narrative of Time Between Tides, in one almost continuous movement, falls into two contrasting sections, each defined by a phrase from Cliff Fall. The work opens with a poised stillness (Edge) in which the long lines of the three instruments entwine in their highest range, ‘gleaming along its edge’. The last section (Fall) emerges firstly as broken phrases, then unifies into something much more urgent. The phrase shapes give (I hope) a feeling of ‘falling’, as if inevitably being pulled down by gravity, ‘flailing through air bright for the love of Samphire.’

Cliff Fall (subtitled, Samphire Hoe, Kent. King Lear, Act IV, Scene VI) opens:

  • Gloucester’s imagined cliff,
  • Samphire, murmuring surge,
  • a dizzy horizon
  • gleaming along its edge,
  • sunlight dazzle blinding
  • a gaze on the far sea,
  • persuading memory
  • that it saw a man fall,
  • time between tides rushing
  • towards darkness . . .

Seán Street has generously given permission to quote from his poem, Cliff Fall.

Time Between Tides is dedicated to bassist, Peter McCarthy, who set up the Walthamstow concert series, Music in the Village, and to the Lendvai String Trio, Nadia Wijzenbeek, violin, Ylvali Zilliacus, viola and Marie Macleod, cello.

Link to score: