The Dancing Pipes
Mostly known for his Britten-inspired operas, Jonathan Dove composed his whimsical The Dancing Pipes two years ago specifically for Trotter. Critical to Dove at that time was the fact that the première would take place at St. Laurence’s Church in Ludlow on an instrument he was familiar with. Dove then went to work, attempting to use the story of the martyrdom of St. Laurence from the third century to inspire musical ideas.
Ultimately, the martyr became merely a catalyst, however, because while improvising and trying to create melodic figures that might depict such an event, Dove stumbled upon an uncharacteristic dance-like melody that overtook him and became the primary idea. The title is based on how this creative process eventually transcended the limits that were then constraining him, just as the organ pipes appeared to him to be dancing out of the confines of the instrument.