Larry Goves (b.1980) - Four Letter Words

Recorded Live on 25th February 2008. Duration: 15 minutes 21 seconds

The four letter words are not what you might think: they belong to a sequence of poems by Matthew Welton - poems made, indeed, of four letter words and nothing else. 'Push your door shut', the text begins, 'Turn down your light.' But this tone of gently calming advice, encouraged in the text by the fact that 'your' is a four letter word, changes. And so does the music. A set of songs becomes a game, a mad scene, a combat: interpret it how you will. The clarinettist, who plays only one low note in the first song, comes to challange the singer for central position. Repercussions are acted out on the concert platform.

Beyond the drama, or beneath it, one may note how the composer uses varied repetition - and a gift for the slyly potent phrase, vocal or instrumental-to maintain a state of attention at once alert and laid back. The horn figure heard at the start, and directly repeated, seems to set the tone for the whole piece. From this lazy horn solo will grow what high heat we'll hear - also what cold, what cool.

Four Letter Words was composed for Psappha in 2007

Paul Griffiths © 2008

Nicholas Kok Conductor
Dean Robinson Bass
Elaine Tyler-Hall Director

Dov Goldberg Clarinet
Rebecca Goldberg Horn
Tim Williams Percussion
David Routledge Violin
Jeffrey BoxDouble Bass

Psappha’s YouTube Channel

You can also visit Psappha’s YouTube Channel, where you can watch:

  • Films of works by emerging composers
  • Films of Psappha’s Hong Kong Residency (2013)
  • All of the films on Psappha’s website