For Cornet in B-flat & Brass Band, written for & commissioned by Flowers Band who gave the premiere performance at Brass in Concert 2019 at The Sage, Gateshead with Jamie Smith as soloist.
The Descent takes its inspiration from Victorian author Jules Verne; specifically, his work Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Professor Arronax finds himself a prisoner of the mysterious Captain Nemo, on a remarkable submarine called the Nautilus. Nemo is one of Verne’s most memorable characters. He’s a man who has turned his back on the world, and his name – Nemo – means ‘No Man.’ He has vowed never to set foot on dry land ever again. Verne gives his hero’s brilliance and benevolence a dark underside – the man’s obsessive hate for Empires and Imperialism. Captain Nemo is a genius, an engineer, an artist, an athlete, sometimes a pacifist, sometimes a righter of wrongs, sometimes an out and out villain, and he invented the Nautilus.
The Descent is based on the idea of a descent to the depths of the ocean in the Nautilus with Captain Nemo, with the cornet soloist expressing both the anguish and reflective sides of the character. On one hand, a troubled and agitated figure, juxtaposed with the reflective memories of his homeland, children, mother and father. The work was written for and commissioned by Flowers Band as part of their programme of music at Brass in Concert 2019.