Cloud Movements

For Clarinet, Violin and Piano
2014 (8 minutes)
Orchestration: cl/pf/vn

Commissioned by the Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series and premiered by Ensemble Mattisse at the Purcell Room on 8th January 2015.

Programme note

On honeymoon in Tuscany I was determined to come home inspired by a great work of art on which to base my next commission. However, it was watching the gradually changing shape of a cloud crossing the sky over a glass of Tuscan Red that eventually inspired this work: the idea influences the harmonic progressions in the piece which gradually metamorphose in shape, following no particular rules.

Back home I started reading Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything about Climate Change and Capitalism. A chapter about 'Solar Radiation Management', a potentially hazardous proposed geoengineering practice in which sulfates are sprayed into the stratosphere (with the intention of reflecting sunlight back into space) influenced the piece as it progressed (in particular the final movement). 

The second and fourth movements are both canons - the first a three part canon, the second a four part, palindromic one (palindromes also feature in the final movement).

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2014


"To round-off its set, Ensemble Matisse gave the premiere of a Park Lane Group commission, Cloud Movements by Cheryl Frances-Hoad. From its mysterious opening, sacred in a way familiar from Messiaen’s music, through quirky dance rhythms and soulful refrains the piece ends up in Aaron Copland territory with its open expression..."

Colin Anderson, Classical Source

Performance history (post-premiere)

26th August 2019 - Rozenn Le Trionnaire, Mathilde Milwidsky and Tom Poster at St. Andrew's Church, Presteigne, Wales UK - part of the Presteigne Festival 

3rd December 2018  - Aileen Razey Trio at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY


Due for release by Champs Hill Records (on The Whole Earth Dances, Cheryl's fifth disc with the label) in 2020.