Paul Cowell - Shadowed from heaven's eye


Shadowed from heaven's eye was inspired by a performance of Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare's first tragedy is a violent story where cycles of revenge result in rape, murder and disfigurement. The most violent actions in the play are done "shadowed from heaven's eye" in a forest near Rome. By the end of the play, all the main characters have killed each other. Shadowed from heaven's eye is a passacaglia for winds and percussion. It is written in an octatonic mode consisting of two interlocked diminished chords a quarter tone apart. This provides two types of tritone-like intervals that are prominent in the passacaglia theme. The tonality of Shadowed from heaven's eye shifts between the two diminished-chord tone centres. There is also a prominent part for vibraphone that leans more towards a more conventional chromatic mode.

Tuning information:

Mode for shadowed from heaven's eye 8 250.0 300.0 550.0 600.0 850.0 900.0 1150.0

Composer bio:

Paul Cowell studied at the University of York and Stony Brook University, New York. He played percussion for many years, but after becoming more interested in Baroque music, switched to continuo playing. He is a composer and arranger living in London, and currently works for the British Government.