For: String orchestra
page one of Vortex

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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
6 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
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Vortex, at its conception, was originally going to be called "Pig in the Middle." The instruments are laid out in such a manner that the double-bass player sits between the two quartets who are both symmetrically situated either side of him/her. The two quartets then musically become the players either side of the "pig" (double-bass) in the middle.

I have also used quotes from two songs which bare some relevance to pigs. The opening double bass theme is an inversion and rhythmically altered reference to the opening riff of Skrewdriver’s "This Little Piggy." The chief compositional element of the piece however, originates from a recording I found of Porky Pig singing "I’ll have a blue Christmas without you."

Due to the solemn nature of the piece – and so as not to offend the double-bassist when it was performed – I decided that this title was perhaps a little too flippant and renamed it Vortex. This also implies - I hope! - that the double-bass is in some way, both visually and musically, the crux of the ensemble.

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