What I Think About When I am Running

For: Quintet
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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
6 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

This piece is based on the breathing patterns I use when running. By concentrating on the exhale (which I do for three paces) and then having a shorter inhale (two paces - giving a total of 5), I find that I not only run faster, but it gives me a focus to concentrate on, especially on longer races. I sometimes find that my mind starts writing music to fit this asymmetric pattern, and this piece slowly developed through this over a number of runs.

The structure of the piece is also derived from the preparation, participation and completion of a run - the intro is full of expectation of what is to come, during the actual development there are parts that are more repetitive, fitting in with the pace and cadence of the footsteps, while other sections are less secure, questioning the rhythmic drive that has been set up. The end is at the point when the run is complete and the body is returning to its relaxed state from the beginning, although in a slightly altered manner.

The scoring I have used is the same as Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, with the addition of a viola.

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