string trio, 10 mins, 2019


Conjure was commissioned by the Wigmore Hall for a trio from the Albion Quartet. It is for violin, viola and cello. The premiere was at the Wigmore Hall on the 2nd of November 2019, at a day of concerts dedicated to Waley-Cohen's music.


While writing Conjure, I was listening a lot to Beethoven’s Op. 109 and 110 - his penultimate and antepenultimate piano sonatas. Various rhythmic patterns and ways of moving from phrase to phrase struck me, and have made their ways into the piece. I was also thinking of the idea of a Séance, and the various meanings of that word: originally from ‘sedere’ - ‘to sit’, also meaning ‘a session’, and most commonly a meeting in which people talk to the dead. In folklore and mythology, the idea of three people facing each other, with their thoughts pointed towards one purpose, brings up images of magic and conjuring. Writing this trio, I started to think of the archetypal magical beings who are represented in threes, three graces, three witches, three muses, three little pigs, three fates, three furies.