for brass band (2010)

[sop.cor, 9 cor., flug., solo hn., 2 hns., 2 baritones, 2 euphs., 2 tbns., bass tbn., 2 Eb basses, 2 Bb basses, timp., perc. (3)]

Duration: 6'

Commissioned by Prima Vista for the Black Dyke Band


"The real musical substance though came with the premiere by Black Dyke of 'Obsidian' by Emily Howard, a remarkable work of just under 6 minutes inspired by the volcanic qualities of the mineral glass. Darkly textured with subtle nuance to the internal timbres of the lower spectrum of band dynamics, it evoked deep atmospheric mystery. Occasional sharper edges related to the felsic qualities that can utilised for use as a weapon or cutting tool, or the buffed, highly polished traits that make it such an attractive medium in jewellery. And although the composer added a mordent subtitle of wit, by calling it, 'A Volcanic Ash Lullaby', this was in fact a very serious work from a very serious and original thinking compositional voice. Future collaborations with Black Dyke are in the pipeline and on this evidence they are eagerly anticipated."

Iwan Fox, 4barsrest