Ewan Mackay


composer's note

Monologue, for solo viola, was composed for Morag Currie and was written to mark the beginning of my Master’s studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands. It is the second piece in a trio of solo works concerned with the idea of speech within music – the first being Soliloquy, for solo flute.

Throughout my Bachelor’s studies with Mark Sheridan, I have become deeply interested in the process of creating an entire piece out of one single idea. This thought process is present in Monologue, where the opening motif forms the backbone of the work before a darker middle section brings about uncertainty before a final resolution in the closing bars of the piece. The musical content of the work is sparse, relying upon few motifs and changes of colour which I believe adds to the overall emotional context of the piece itself.

As with the vast majority of my work, I enjoy taking the listener on an emotional journey which is often dark and brooding, to begin with, which snakes its way through various emotional ideas and thematic changes within the music itself, before coming to a place of realisation which is normally ambiguous. Monologue is no exception to this and having composed the work, I intend to allow performers and audience members to draw their own conclusions on the work, however, it should be clear this work as with Soliloquy has a deeper meaning for the performer and listener to piece together as part of a larger musical and emotional puzzle.

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