In Ictu Oculi (Three Meditations) was commissioned by Phillip Scott for the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain, who gave the first performance at the Royal College of Music on 9th April 2016.

Grateful thanks for a grant towards this commission is extended to the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust with further thanks for additional help to the Nanset Wind Orchestra, Norway, conductor Odd Terje Lysebo; the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, University of Georgia USA, conductor Cynthia Johnson Turner; and the Cornell Wind Symphony, USA, conductor James Spinazzola.

For further information contact Cecilian Music -

The composer writes:

In Ictu Oculi is part of a current cycle of works that have the idea of Momento Mori, or Vanitas amd memorial, at their centre. Suck concepts however have long interested me and provide an underlying tension to many works in my output. This particular piece (the meaning of the title being in the blink of an eye) is an extended meditation upon the transcience of time and the simple fact that all things come to an end, be they cultures, individuals or civilisations. The notion of a journey is important in this work and the formal architecture it employs uses metaphors of labyrinth (a single but convoluted through-route) and maze (a pathway with many branches, choices of path and dead-ends) in negotiating its musical structures. The work runs continuously without a break, though it is articulated by the following titled sections:

Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt? (Where are those who were before us?)

Stele 1 (A marker slab or column decorated with figures or commemorative inscriptions, common in prehistory)

Oxymandian fallacy

Stele 11

Timor mortis conturbat me (the fear of death dismays me)

Hoc in memoriam mea avia

Duration approximately 13 minutes