Paul Patterson (b. 1947)I - Scrumpy Giles (Somerset) ~ to the tune 'Farmer Giles'
Westerly Winds (1998)
II - Widecombe Jan (Devon) ~ to the tune Widecombe Fair'
III - Lazy Lawrence (Dorset) ~ to the tune 'Linden Lea'
IV - The Looe Bar Lady (Cornwall) ~ to the tune 'Helston Floral Dance'
This composition, premiered in 1999, is a suite of fantasias on West Country folk tunes depicting legendary and fantastical characters. The first, Scrumpy Giles, opens with a simple statement of the Farmer Giles tune, leading quickly into a complex and interwoven fantasia depicting the character suffering something of an over-indulgence of Somersetís famous Scrumpy. The darker movement which follows depicts the dubious character Widecombe Jan, said to have disappeared dramatically one stormy night on a big black stead, leaving a trail of playing cards across the moor. The four aces are still to be seen as small intakes carved out of the moorland near Chaw Gully. The chalk man carved into the hillside at Cerne Abbas is the inspiration for Lazy Lawrence: Pattersonís depiction follows the popular portrayal of this giant as the god of fertility, as the movement builds to a splendid chorale-like statement of its theme. The Helston Floral Dance is still danced annually in memory of a little old lady who haunts the sands of Looe Bar. She is said to have run into Helston waving a bunch of wild flowers, shouting the good news that she had witnessed the evil one being defeated in a terrible conflict. JCC
© 2002 The Arethusa Ensemble