David Nunn - pavans and antiquities

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pavans and antiquities is a re-imagining of Renaissance-era viol consort music, for the modern string quartet. Fragmented parts of a pavan – a sedate, processional dance – are heard in slow motion, as if in broad brush strokes or deep breaths. Subtle fluctuations in the way that the quartet tune their harmonies are reminiscent of archaic instruments, and bring out the natural resonances of the strings.

The piece consists of two pavans, both of which start with a whispering, disembodied fragment, then progress in slow motion. The music is lamenting: not necessarily sorrowful, but searching for something lost and distant. The second pavan starts to disintegrate, peeling apart to reveal a focused and obsessive call.

Composer: David Nunn

Composer photo
Photo of David Nunn

David Nunn is a composer based in London. His music is often immersive and minimal; it acts as escapism for the listener, and is characterised by textures which seem to revolve and rotate as if in a kaleidoscope. It is sometimes introspective; at other times it is joyous and chaotic. Through his music, he seeks to examine the subtleties of the world we inhabit, and to think on the intricacies of the relationships we have with each other in a world which is growing increasingly uneasy.

His music has been performed internationally by ensembles such as Psappha, The Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, ensemble recherche and The Hermes Experiment. He studied with Helen Grime at the Royal Academy of Music, having previously studied with Julian Anderson and Christian Mason. His music is published by Black Dot Press.