James Macmillan’s Memento was written in memory of a friend, David Huntley, the representative of Boosey & Hawkes in the USA, who died in 1994.

Memento delicately treads along the  borderline of silence and sound. The sounds are hints, faint memories, of Gaelic lament music and the heterophonic psalm singing practised in the Hebrides. The silence will mean different things to different people. It might be about loss, despair, loneliness, but it might also feel full of potential and hope. The opportunity for silence is the greatest gift, in a way, that a composer can give, allowing reflection in a world of relentless noise and disturbance.

Luskentyre Dunes, Isle of Harris. (Photo courtesy Nils Leonhardt)