Commissioned by Ian Munro, Roy Howat, Joel Sachs and Aura Go, with the support of a project grant from the Music Funds of the Australia Council for the Arts
First performance by Ian Munro (piano), Andrew Ford (speaker), Arts in the Valley Festival, Kangaroo Valley, NSW, 6 May 2017
Andrew Ford: In transit (2014–16) for piano and speaker
1. On the A Train
2. A Promotion in the Restaurant Car
3. The Man in the Road
4. A Man Disappointed in the World
5. The Girl with the Black Piercings
6. Sunday Best
7. Mistaken Identity
8. A Juggling Lesson
9. The Bag Lady’s Benefit
10. Culture Clash
11. Simple Gifts
As a composer, I always carry a notebook in case I have to write down an idea. Alongside the musical notes are other jottings from books or articles I’ve read, comments people have made to me or that I’ve overheard, and unusual things I’ve witnessed. Many of these have occurred on trains or at railway stations. Perhaps there is something about rail travel that sharpens our powers of observation.
Noticing a trend for railway-related entries in my notebooks and diaries, I began to imagine little musical accompaniments for the scenes I had recorded. In transit consists of 12 of these, some of them extremely short.
The piece was composed for Ian Munro in Australia, Roy Howat in the UK, Aura Go in Finland and Joel Sachs in the USA, all countries that feature in the work itself. It was written as part of a project fellowship from the Australia Council.