Performed and recorded in isolation during lockdown by Harriet Riley (Vibraphone) and Paul Israel (Piano) from The Bristol Ensemble
Completed on 17th April 2020, Grace of Silence was written in response to a request from Sound World, an organization based in the South of England, to help support local professional musicians’ livelihoods during the first lockdown brought on by covid-19.
This global pandemic brought devastation to many industries including the music world. Lockdown meant that musicians could not travel to perform. This piece is in response to the dramatic changes many of us experienced during lockdown.
The incessant repetitive pattern from the piano depicts a monotonous motif of time being stagnant and going nowhere. The vibraphone tries to bring hope with the ebb and flow of its quasi melodic patterns. The whole improvised section is a reminder of how life was pre-pandemic – full of spring and joy, lots of movement and life until it too gradually becomes more distorted and fragmented, reminding us of the dark cloud the pandemic had imposed on us. The piece ends in such a way that there is a question mark - uncertainty. We had no idea how we would all emerge from this situation or for how long it may take. We were literally suspended.
Dame Evelyn Glennie