composers notes
January – a month where, on first glance, all can appear to be dreary and lifeless. However, since the passing of the colour and bustle of the festive season, this month can be a necessary time for reflection, contemplation and stillness. A time to reconsider former activities and to plan strategies for the year ahead.

For me, the discipline of going on a daily walk, has much in common with my life as a composer and musician. Making the commitment to undertake a task on a regular basis – be it practising an instrument, adding music to a composition or taking some form of exercise – is a way to achieve goals in a steady and methodical manner. I adore being out in the natural landscape. Not only is it an opportunity to notice how the seasons change, but it is a way to breathe in the clear air and refresh one’s mind. It adds clarity to one’s thoughts.

January has been far from dull – the calmness it brings in moments of solitude is revitalising. The fiery sunsets which unexpectedly explode into a myriad of burnished colours is a gift to behold. The reflections of the deep reds, yellows and oranges form a contrast with the darkening clouds, and create a molten seascape. The colours of the sky enhance the surprisingly vivid greens of the farmland and vegetation which has been drenched with rain. Wild flowers and berries brighten the hedgerows.

A morning walk taking in the crisp air is the way for music to grow in my mind. The cerulean blue sky behind the skeletal shapes of the trees is the catalyst which transforms the start of my day into a productive hive of activity.

Sue Aston