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Mnemonic

Joe Duddell's Mnemonic, its title inspired by the Théatre de Complicité play dealing with memory and

time, was premiered in the festival's opening concert. Scored for solo flute and harp with string orchestra,

it was described by Duddell as a "chamber concerto", a disclaimer against assumptions of scale or

pretension. It did eschew display, with no harp glissandi or pyrotechnics to risk cliché, but the

characteristic timbres of the solo instruments - Katherine Baker's flute full and smooth, Suzanne Willison's

brittle harp - were set against each other as well as the strings.

The nature of the music was more reflective than Duddell's usual style. And while there is an irony in a

piece called Mnemonic being so understated and economical in its material that there is nothing

obviously memorable to it, its elegantly crafted block-structure with a constant interplay of metre and

rhythmic pattern managed to intrigue the ear in a way that imprints itself quite firmly in the mind.

Rian Evans, The Guardian