Andrew Ford (b. 1957)

The Rising (2010)
for brass band

To human beings, bush-fires are terrifying and often deadly events. But to the Australian bush, they bring the prospect of regeneration. After the conflagration, comes peace. It is often only a few days after the fire that the first shoots start to appear. Pale green leaves bud on charred branches. Slowly, the Bush renews itself. Over years, even decades, the native vegetation re-establishes itself, the undergrowth becomes thick once more. In effect, of course, the forest is now stockpiling fuel, and if not checked and occasionally cleared, the cycle must continue. The Bush needs fire to survive. These were the images I had in mind when I was composing The Rising. This is what gave me my structure.

But, really, the piece might represent any sort of rising – revolutionary or religious, cosmic or simply musical – where a violent event brings peace and then, after a time, too much peace leads to violence. This short work begins with one big bang, then builds inexorably towards another. At the end, it feels as though the piece might begin again (and again (and again)) . . .

The Rising was commissioned by the Black Dyke Band and is dedicated to them with respect and great admiration.

© A.F.