I. Late-night Ant-ics; II. The lonely Locust; III. Mosquito Massacre

Bugs may be viewed as a sequel to Paul Patterson’s earlier harp piece, Spiders (1985).

The Royal Academy of Music’s Harp Department, keen to have a second solo piece from Patterson, commissioned him to write a new work for its Harp Gala Day on 27
November 2003.

Bugs is a three-movement showpiece encompassing a number of stylistic idioms. Its somewhat humorous name and movement titles suggest that it is a lighthearted work
taking a sideways look at the fate of three much-maligned little creatures: the ant, the locust and the mosquito!

Each movement explores many different and wide-ranging harp techniques. The opening “Late-night Ant-ics is set as a cortège with the ants making their relentless
passage in a cool, carefree manner, with an unexpectedly groovy disposition! With its heavy swing beat, jazz-inflected harmonies and pedal pitch bends, this movement sports an alluring attitude!

The Lonely Locust is sad and lonely, contemplating on what might have been: the missed feast and the longing to rejoin the swarming multitude. He reflects on his sorry plight in a lilting, melancholic lament making extensive use of sharp harmonic twists and shifts.

Rapid bisbigliando effects and avant-garde techniques including glissandi with the tuning key characterise the concluding Mosquito Massacre. As the title implies, there is great drama afoot……..but to reveal more would spoil the conspiracy: suffice to say, there are numerous surprises in store as the mosquitoes head for combat!

Notes by Paul Pellay.


Lavinia Meijer performs Mosquito Masacre


Written 2003

Solo Harp
Length 11′

Commission: Harp Department, Royal Academy of Music
Dedication: ‘To Skaila Kanga’
Publisher: Josef Weinberger

First Performance
Royal Academy of Music
27th November 2003
Catrin Finch, harp
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