Last updated January 2016 Copyright © Green Branch 2004 -
Composer: Tim Porter. A Play with Music and Songs,1973
There are many strands intertwined in this piece, but it is the wood that one wants to see, not the trees, so I won’t say much.
As the “Noble Head” and “Arthur” stories lead on from one another, I have presented them as two twists in the same spiral pattern, thus:
Each step in the spiral can also be looked at as a season, so that the spiral, starting with the decapitation (spring) represents two years, ending in winter with Avalon; accordingly, I have taken the passage of two years as my time scale.
The question arises ‘where does the next turn of the spiral take us?’ What doies the third Spring bring? -
Another view of the play which has only recently occurred to me is that it is the dream of someone who has read, and half digested, The Box of Delights, The White Goddess, The Old Straight Track, the Mabinogion, and certain poems by Wordsworth, Flecker, Masefield, Edward Thomas and so on: the dream, in short, of someone who has under his fingers the keys of a magical instrument, but doesn’t know how to play. This would account for Katy. I wondered what she was doing there, because I thought I was writing about the British Countryside.
The music is partially based on a magical cipher worked out from one of the ancient tree-
Otherwise the music has been written by instinct.
1 Male role (mostly spoken) -
2 Male or female role -
3 Alder -
5 The Betrayer -
8 Male or female role -
9 Male or female role -
10 Female role -
11 Carlia -
12 Cole Hawlings/Alfred Watkins (speaking part) -