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15th December 2010

Commission for 8-string guitar

Ian has been commissioned by Irish guitarist Redmond O'Toole (with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland) to write a new work for his 8-string 'Brahms' guitar, which is played upright like a cello.

Cortège will take Picasso's painting Chant funèbre pour Ignacio Sánchez Mejías as its inspiration, a memorial to the great Spanish bullfighter. The composer says this will allow him to explore the darker side of the instrument, particularly with the extra string at the bottom, as well as incorporating some dance-like figurations.

Redmond has lent Ian one of his 8-string guitars so that the composer can work physically on the piece, which will be premiered in September 2011 in Salzburg.