TUNDRA is written for string quartet and is a little under five minutes in length. It comprises five sections, with the fourth mirroring the second, and the first and last sharing similar thematic material. Emulating the wild, unfamiliar environment of the harsh Arctic plains, the beginning of the piece is hushed; the harmonies gradually grow from single notes to lamenting fragments of melody lines before an urgent pizzicato cello line heralds the arrival of a darker, more agitated tone. This frenetic energy dissipates, the melodies from the beginning developing into flowing lyrical phrases which are largely unaccompanied apart from a few textural elements. This builds in tension and tempo reaching a second peak of harmonic intensity before the first few opening chords return, bringing a sense of distance and isolation as the piece draws to a close.
Composer: Olivia Ransome
Olivia Ransome is a composer and pianist from Cambridge. She was principal composer of the National Youth Orchestra 2020, studying under Errollyn Wallen, Larry Goves and Laura Jurd; with the NYO, she enjoyed chamber and orchestral collaborations with other creative musicians, culminating in performances at the Southbank and the Barbican. Olivia has been a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians since September 2016 and has just completed her fourth year. As part of this group, she wrote for and performed in concerts at Snape Maltings, FolkEast and as part of the Aldeburgh Music Festival. As a soloist and ensemble pianist exploring classical and contemporary repertoire, Olivia has been involved in multiple recitals in the UK and in Europe. She is also passionate about literature and the visual arts, interests which inform and engage her composition.