How Strange the Changewas composed during the very strange period of 2020–21, defined by such new concepts as lockdowns, social distancing and Zoom. While I was delighted to receive a commission for a very colourful ensemble from the energetic and talented Alex Raineri, it was in the context of isolation that much of the work took place.

Erik Griswold

As sometimes happens to me, a song popped into my head from somewhere deep in my subconscious – Cole Porter’s Ev’ry Time We Say goodbye– which contains the lyric: “There is no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor”. Somehow the phrase seemed to encapsulate our current predicament, and I sensed the potential to use major-minor shifts of harmony to reflect on the turbulent mood swings of COVID life. While How Strange the Changeis an homage of sorts, it is not an arrangement or quotation. After referencing a few chords from the song, the work quickly departs into my own flights of fancy, with musical phrases often...