The piece takes two musical ideas as its starting point: beautiful yet dark harmonies and an energetic rhythmic figure borrowed from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Each of the musical ideas represents a consideration of issues surrounding the European-funded Bristol Green Capital: our beautiful ‘Green and Pleasant Lands’ and how society engages with our environment.
Throughout the piece elements of the folk song, sourced by Ralph Vaughn Williams, 'Bristol Town' are used as the basis for the two musical ideas. Rather than being ‘quoted’ the melody and harmonies from the folk song are reframed within a contemporary context. The aim is to present a musical dialectic reflecting upon whether we are working with or against our environment.
The orchestral piece is complemented, in performance, by a soundscape that is 'performed' after the conclusion of the orchestral music, preferably during the interval (through the entire venue), as happened at the premiere in Colston Hall.