Works Dreel Alistair MacDonald

Dreel

  • Alistair MacDonald
  • Year of composition: 1996
  • Duration: 10:46
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: BEAST

The title, Dreel, has a number of associations which are all reflected in the sound materials chosen for the piece. First, it is the name of a river close to my home; the river gives its name to a bar, The Dreel Tavern, which was called The Railway Tavern until the railway closed thirty years ago. And finally, it is a contraction of the words ‘Dunmall’s Reel’. ‘Reel’ is a genre of Scottish dance music which might more usually be associated with the Scottish border bagpipes which are heard in various guises throughout the piece. The pipes were played for me by Paul Dunmall, better known as an improvising saxophonist.

In this work I wanted to contrast very different, but recognisable images in sound, without attempting to resolve the images. Juxtaposition and layering as well as computer processing are used to create ambiguity and blurring, and the piece leaves questions unanswered.

[source: Réseaux des arts médiatiques]


Dreel was commissioned by BEAST for the Rumours… concert series in Birmingham, with funds from West Midlands Arts.

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