Benedict Todd

Organist · Composer · Conductor



  • Composed: May 2011
  • Duration: Variable
  • Instrumentation: Mixed ensemble
  • Written for: CoMA Southwest

  • Notes: Assessed composition for MA (Music) - University of Bristol 2011.

  • Programme notes: Embrasure draws inspiration from a painting of the same name by the Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky which I first encountered in an exhibition at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence during the summer of 2010. It is a large (290cm diameter) circular canvas which appears, at first glance, to be filled with a random selection of black lines and dots, all over a bright yellow background. As the eye is drawn into the work, one starts to notice more detail: some of the lines begin to resemble familiar, quasi-organic shapes; there is a detailed border of alternating red, green and blue running around the perimeter; and, most intriguingly, there is what looks to be a square hole sunk into the centre of the canvas to which one's eyes seem to be irresistably drawn.

    When seeking to interpret an artwork through music, there is always the difficulty that a painting exists statically in time and yet a piece of music must move through time. I therefore decided to reflect my personal experience of first encountering this picture, as described above, in the structure of the music. I was also interested in the idea of players themselves reacting to a visual stimulus, and to this end I have incorporated two pictures of my own in the score, which are based again on my reaction to the original painting (and are in ink, after the style of Alechinsky). But, overall, I wanted to reflect the sense of continually being drawn back towards the hole, the Embrasure, in the centre of this subject.

  •  Sorry, this work is not available for purchase.

© Image courtesy of the
Musée Granet, Aix-en-provence.

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