“Spring equinox: day and night in perfect symmetry. Dawn: sun and moon share the sky, suspended at opposite ends of the unseen balance, each a mirror of the other: the struggling sun pale as moonlight, the moon lit red with sun’s fire. The sea too is a mirror, a still and polished mist, air and water indistinguishable, while beyond Llanddwyn Island there is no horizon, so that the land itself seems projected into empty space, as if joining in the cosmic dance. In the forest, the birds offer their extravagances heavenwards, while high above them heaven’s distant replies are the songs of the metal birds, whose spectral sighs set the air in motion above a motionless sea. The moon sinks — this will be the sun’s day.” (Newborough/Llanddwyn, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, April 2003)
Llanddwyn Skies is based mainly on recordings made at the time of an unseasonably warm spring equinox in 2003, and tries to capture the solitude and stillness of dawn in Newborough Forest and on nearby Llanddwyn Island. There was a sense at the time that the wonderful tranquillity and peace of the moment was a result of many forces held in perfect balance: day/night, sun/moon, sea/sky, birds/planes: much of the material is of birdsong and other sounds in the forest which borders the seashore at Newborough, and since the constant presence of jets overhead was not only inescapable, but also highly characteristic of the place, it seemed natural that they became a part of the material of the piece. The sea sounds were all recorded on Llanddwyn Island.
Llanddwyn Skies was realized in the spring and early summer 2003 at the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on October 30, 2003 in Powis Hall, Bangor University (Wales, UK). It was also presented on February 13, 2004 during the Rien à voir (15) concert series presented by Réseaux at Espace GO in Montréal.