Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
School of Music
Jon Lord’s To Notice Such Things is a twenty-seven minute suite for flute, piano, and string orchestra composed in memory of the writer and barrister Sir John Mortimer, Q.C. In this orchestral work Lord used the flute as a narrator for Mortimer’s life as a programmatic or figurative device. Lord used his knowledge of Mortimer, through their close friendship, in order to create a narrative of the author’s life experience through music. Each movement of this suite points to a specific idea, time, or experience in Mortimer’s personal history, and provides the listener with a glimpse into the author’s life and works. By examining five specific musical features, this paper will illuminate how Jon Lord used the flute as a narrator for John Mortimer’s life and will show that Lord’s compositional techniques enhance and support this narrative. These techniques include programmatic elements, harmonic elements, rhythmic elements and tempo, thematic elements and allusions, and using the flute as John Mortimer’s voice. Comparisons to Lord’s improvisational style during his time with Deep Purple will also be explored as influences on the narrative of this work and as elements of Lord’s natural compositional style. This modern suite for flute, piano, and strings also contains allusions to great composers like J.S. Bach, Vaughn Williams, Elgar, and great poets like Auden, Thomas, and Hardy. To Notice Such Things is a substantial addition to the canon of significant flute music, worthy of more frequent performance. This paper intends to bring increased attention to a composer and writer whose talents and creative works deserve further recognition.
Little, Brianne, "Notes for a Writer: The Role of the Flute as Narrator in Jon Lord's To Notice Such Things" (2016). Dissertations. 123.