Vic Hoyland

07: Anglo-Saxon poems

Anglo-Saxon poems

Here is one: My EM follows this plan. The text used is a ruined poem of a Ruin (probably Roman), as seen by wondering Anglo-Saxon eyes. This marked the beginning of a long, slow, tested and testing progression that led, eventually to WULF and these, hot off the press, little demonstration pieces for piano. In EM there are no pitches whatsoever. In WULF the entire chromatic range is employed. In the Anglo-Saxon Reader, The Ruin and WULF appear on the same page.

In passing: Le Corbusier was a contemporary of Schoenberg and he worked with both Messiaen and then Xenakis (a student of Messiaen).

In 1983 I composed Fox, for the New Music Ensemble, Endymion. I used a pitch sequence of major and minor thirds to create a 13 note sequence; so not exactly classic 12 tone composition. The combinations I found pleasing to the ear but at that time the material seemed limited in scope.

After quite drastic internal, physical complications almost led to my death (aged 49), I underwent major surgery and, amazingly, recovered. A second, even worse situation arose just 3 years ago, from which I was kept isolated for a full year and I am still recovering.