Pay Close Attention

For Violin, Viola (or 2nd Violin), Cello and Piano
(2009) 4 minutes

Commissioned by Chamber Music 2000 and premiered by students of the Junior Royal Academy of Music at the Purcell Room in January 2009. 

Programme note 

Half way through writing my piece for Chamber Music 2000, I discovered that I had been subliminally influenced by The Prodigy's Experience album (largely due to the fact I'd been listening to it obsessively in the gym around that time), and so I decided to name it after a line from one of my favourite tracks. Apart from the album's ability to make me run faster than usually possible, I also loved the manic upwards and downwards shifting of triads that occurred in many of the tracks. This treatment of triads features quite heavily, although more daintily, in my piece. In this work I wanted to retain my usual kind of rhythmic patterns (with associated ridiculous number of time signature changes) but render them possible for performers of Grade 8 standard or below. The rhythmic pattern in this piece therefore lurches obsessively (but more or less consistently) from 7/8 to 5/8 to 7/8 to 5/8 etc. It is for this reason that the title seemed doubly appropriate.

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2011


"On Wednesday night the Purcell Room hosted a concert to mark 10 years of Chamber Music 2000, the scheme started by the Schubert Ensemble to commission and propagate new chamber music for student ensembles. The aim has been to create a body of new music by leading composers which is technically accessible to learner players. Although there was not a weak piece on display, I did feel at time that everything was a bit too polite: a leaning towards slow and quiet music at the expense of the loud and rhythmical – although Cheryl Frances Hoad’s Pay Close Attention bucked the trend enjoyably." Sound and Music


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