My favourite place is the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow. My mind and eyes are refreshed after a visit to the flowers and plants there. No clover there, however. I would associate that more with my early childhood summers on my uncle's farmland in Dorset. So, in imagining spring clover I allowed these memories to colour my vision and tried to grasp the 'sublime' that Keats and the Romantics offered. In this new duet we are indeed 'in clover' as the old phrase suggests; idyllic, bucolic, munching the evidently slightly hallucinogenic flower on an ideal warm spring morning. As in real life, idylls never last and soon there's competition for the clover - and the buzzing and biting textures of the middle section suggest that a cow's life is not always a happy one!
This commission pairs my 'Clover' with Oswald's 'Primrose'. So in the music of the new piece there are allusions to the older one. I took Oswald's falling fourth and rising sixth, his rising volume and pitch of scale passages, his passage built on falling semitone and rising minor third and his use of some dotted rhythms as some of the building blocks for my own quite different style of piece.
Well, that's enough for now - I must get out there and munch some clover!
Eddie McGuire ~ August 4th 2014.