Chromascope was commisioned by Besses O’ th’ Barn Brass Band with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain, and was first performed at the 1974 Harrogate Festival.
Lasting eight minutes, the work is in one continuous movement with two sections. The opening slow section explores sonorities in a highly original way. The scoring is unusual and the effect one of infiniteness, rather in the manner of Ligeti, a composer that Paul Patterson admires. However, the second section has a strong sense of onward progression with much emphasis placed on syncopation and chord clusters and the writing is generally virtuoso in style. The composer likened the piece to a painting “as it explores the many permutations and colours of sound. There are no melodies as such, only patterns of sound and rhythm, sometimes slowly changing and blending, at other times violently opposed. The musicians are shown as a huge paintbox, capable of creating a multiple collage of bands and widths of sound.”
Commission: Harrogate Festival
Dedication: ‘To Ifor James’
Publisher: Studio Music