Programme Notes

John Sturt - Wishing for a Sleep

Like many people in the UK, I suffer from insomnia, and have done for most of my life. I find myself unable to switch off my mind and allow myself to sink into the blissful world of sleep, but toss and turn for hours until it reluctantly passes over me and allows me some respite.

This piece, written for Carla Rees and her rarescale Flute Academy, describes a moment in time where I'm tired in body but not of mind, and wish for sleep. Waves of thought wash over me, and bright pictures, clear as day, flash behind my eyelids. Only at the end does the piece finally slow down and the original descending figure of the first two bars lead to a conclusion.

In the middle of this piece, I have included a semi-intact reference to the Thomas Tallis choral piece Te Lucis Ante Terminum (the festal tone version). From the Latin, Te Lucis Ante Terminum is translated as To Thee before the close of day, and the hymn follows the line of praying for protection from the night and all that it hides. (It should be noted that my inclusion of this piece of sacred music does not bear religious significance to this piece - it is simply an allegorical device).

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