When composing this work, my initial intention was not to write a symphony, but a set of miniatures, which accounts for the relatively short first movement.

The opening theme dramatically expresses the human condition of being present in the moment, where one’s awareness of passing time is acute, and the opportunity for contemplation is stretched.

Justin Williams looks blurry in motion as he performs on his violin against a blue backdrop.

Justin Williams. Photo supplied


This is communicated in the first bar by a sharp and heavy forte gesture from the strings, which sustain a G minor chord, immediately dropping to pianissimo. To this, I added woodwinds for percussive and timbral effect, and a pause, which stretches the fast-moving bar.

The second bar scurries, making up for lost time. In contrast, bar three presents a moment of quiet reflection where one’s conscious thought is temporarily abandoned, and time itself is seemingly of no consequence. This moment is represented by a major seventh, leading back to the tonic (or ‘home’ tone), played by a solo violin. The pauses in this bar reflect timelessness; the movement created by the allegro tempo is not just...