Song of the Rain
Composer: Edmund Jolliffe
Song of the Rain is a gently flowing piece, with running quarter notes underpinning much of the music. There is a feeling of nostalgia running throughout the piece, as if one were inside on a rainy day looking out of the window and reminiscing about past events. The music ebbs and flows, much as one’s mood might when thinking about the past.
Supported by the Stellar Composer Competition 2021.
About the composer +
Edmund’s music draws on a huge range of styles and influences. He writes music for film and television and is also an award-winning concert composer.
First Prizes in composition competitions include: Freudig Singers Choral Composition Competition, USA; Ithaca College Choral Composition Competition, USA; Amadeus Choir Song writing Competition, Canada; Ely Consort Advent Composing Competition; Hendrix Candlelight Carol Competition, USA; Renée B. Fisher Composer Award, USA.
Recent commissions include pieces for the Royal Academy of Music, the London Chinese Children’s Ensemble, and Oxford University Press Collections. His choral music is available from OUP, Stainer and Bell, Banks Music. ABRSM publish a clarinet piece by him for their Grade 2 2022 syllabus.
He has been writing music to picture for over twenty years. Major series he has composed music for include ‘Who do you think you are?’ (BBC1), ‘Homestead Rescue’ (Discovery), ‘Sort your life out’ (BBC1), ‘Grand Designs: The Street’ (C4), ‘Crazy Delicious’ (C4/Netflix), ‘Long Lost Family’ (ITV1) and ‘Unreported World’ (C4). He was nominated for an RTS Craft and Design Award for his score for the BBC film ‘Elizabeth at 90’.
He is a Lecturer in Composing for the Moving Image at City University and taught composition at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music (Junior Departments) for many years.
In 2021 Odense Percussion, led by Søren Monrad, commissioned a new ensemble piece by Edmund called The Game, which was world-premiered at the Danish National Academy of Music, Denmark on November 15, 2021.
More information about him can be found at: www.edmundjolliffe.com
Information current to December 2022
Review (Percussive Notes, June 2022)
Written for the 2021 Edition Svitzer composition contest, this 5½-minute solo is lyrical, pleasant- sounding, and challenging — but achievable. Throughout the work, marimbists are required to navigate scaler melodic passages and chordal outlines with four mallets, as well as shift smoothly between duple and triple meter while connecting melodic pulses that shift from hand to hand.
At times, this work harkens to pieces by Debussy and Tchaikovsky (think “Children’s Songs”), as well as hinting at the lyricism of Bach cello suites. However, this piece also has modern hemiola-like treatment of the harmony, with one hand pulsing chords in groups of three within a 4/4 time signature. In addition to these types of treatments, this work also will challenge marimbists with the requirement to sustain one-handed rolls across intervals of a major or minor third.
All in all, this piece is through-composed, but feels connected and complete. Its challenges are made easier through repetition. And it is a piece that hints at other works while still retaining a unique identity that fits well within idiomatic marimba literature.
—Joshua D. Smith
Cover graphics and layout: Nicola Lee
Engraving: CPH Engraving
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER