Tactus - a fantasia for harpsichord
Lane, L. (2010) Tactus - a fantasia for harpsichord. [Composition]
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An original solo work for harpsichord, commissioned by the leading UK harpsichordist and harpsichord maker Colin Booth. Written to complement, and add to, the modern repertoire for solo harpsichord, the commissioner will be giving the world premiere (probably at the Dartington International Summer School) in 2011 and including the work in a CD recording of mostly 16th and 17th century music. Tactus was inspired by the sectional structure of fantasias found in this era with their free improvisatory elements; however, in this piece, each section’s motifs evolve throughout whilst the tempo is underpinned by a steady pulse. It is this which gives the piece its title, Tactus, being a term used to describe a source of timekeeping dating back to the Renaissance, often around the rate of a human heartbeat. Whilst the metronome markings for Tactus have a broader range of tempos, the nature of the pulse behind the improvisatory elements remains constant throughout, and both title and subtitle reflect the instrument’s rich historical heritage.