For flute, viola, and harp

Porthladd is an ode to two harbours, one in my hometown Hong Kong, and one in Cardiff, where the piece is premiered. It responds to the theme of ‘identities’, a theme that strikes a chord with me, as someone who’s frequently pondering dynamics between identities in both of these countries.

Harbours embody contrasting things. The word ‘porthladd’ is comprised of two parts: ‘porth’, meaning gate, portal, and ‘ladd’, which comes from a word that originally meant quiet. A harbour is a gateway to the wider world, the first step in seafaring; but also the first point of arrival, a safe haven from the storms of the sea. Porthladd contrasts and dips in and out of various boxes: harmonic, rhythmic, etc., thus highlighting the inward- and outward-facing aspects of a harbour—also a metaphor for inward and outward faces of one’s identity, as exemplified by a person’s different names.

Written for Trio Anima, for a workshop at the BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference, Jan 2024.


Work history

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