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Leesbrook Mill still stands beside the infant river Medlock. (See my note to the first movement.) Having hardly begun to take shape and build up a momentum of its own, the stream was targeted for its usefulness as a source of energy and a convenient mode of waste disposal by the promoters of industrialisation in the late 18th and nineteenth centuries, continuing to service the relentless ambitions of human pride and greed until well into the 20th century. The music of this second movement of my Medlock Way suite reflects the cruel exploitation of natural and human resources that led to financial success for the entrepreneur and frustration and dehumanisation for the working people enslaved, in my view, into making money for them. You can hear the engines of the cotton and steel mills turning as the music unfolds. In the prominent, improvisatory piano music towards the end I have given expression to some of the helplessness, anger and sadness I feel as I think of those of my own family, a generation or so ago, whose lives were stunted by the working conditions of the cotton or steel mills.
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