Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

YOYO for Chamber Orchestra

YOYO was commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia Academy for performances in 2015. The Academy is an orchestra made up of secondary school musicians, and the piece was written with their individual character in mind. It is immediately accessible, with many melodic solos for the players.  

YOYO is a one movement work in several contrasting sections. It is music full of melody, with strong elements of jazz, funk and light music. The piece explores various moods of nostalgia, romance, conflict and sadness. It does not follow a specific story, but deals with the idea of youthful memories, and has a strong dance character. (The title is an acronym of ‘You’re Only Young Once’.) To open, there is a free introduction, as if a memory is awakened. There follows a main section full of funk rhythms, bluesy harmony and old-fashioned romance. An expressive bassoon solo leads to a sultry blues, with nightclub-style solos from the violins and flutes. The relaxed atmosphere is broken by a jagged rhythmic section, with conflict to the fore. A reflective passage follows where the music stills and is tinged with regret. The opening music returns and the memories fade.  

Premiere: 30th June 2015, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

Duration: 15 mins

Listen to a live performance of the work here: YOYO (13’27)

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