I was delighted to be asked to paint some responses to composer Jonathan Trim's piece '"Heart of the Five Valleys". It is a beautiful, pastoral English piece, and I have been looking close to home here in Stroud for landscape inspiration. These paintings will be shown at the Stroud Symphony Orchestra concert on Nov. 26th and I am auction by sealed bid the painting we are holding - 'Severn from Rodborough' for the SSO music fund. I have played in this orchestra for many years and currently lead the 2nd violin section.
Jon says of his composition:
: "This work was borne of a commission from Stroud Town Council to compose music to celebrate 700 years of Stroud as a town in its own right, separate from the parish of Bisley. I was excited and daunted by this request, by the opportunity to express my feelings in music for the town in which I grew up. It was daunting because I knew that the style of my piece would have to be different from my usual symphonic style, and would be more like a tone painting. It was also daunting because so many things make up the complex and vivid character of Stroud yet I wanted to create a unified and organic whole. However once I pictured my walks on Rodborough Common where the bustle of the town can be seen set in a pastoral landscape, the shape of the music became clear. The idea of water running through the Five Valleys to the various mills which created Stroud’s industrial heritage unifies the work. An undulating theme representing both the flow of water through river and canal and the turning of the mill wheels is thus heard at the outset. This picture inspired me to compose the main pastoral theme, which is heard on cor anglais and is repeated several times throughout the work. This is linked to a grand motif representing the architectural landmarks of the town, notably Hill Paul, which has been so vividly restored to prominence. The pace quickens with an exciting section representing the railways running through town (you can hear the chugging on percussion!), with the slow main theme appearing over the faster tempo. Another quick section appears, a folk-like dance representing the energy of Stroud’s “alternative” culture at Fringe Festival time, hence the bongos! Under this however there emerges a slower,more spiritual, church-like theme which gains prominence throughout the dance, reminding us that the bustle takes place in the shadow of the parish church of St Lawrence."