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Image by Alex Sever



(Saxophone quartet) 8'

Commissioning note

With the greatest of thanks to Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting for commissioning the piece for the Blackbird Creative Lab, and ⁓Nois saxophone quartet, for nuturing and premiering it.



Dwalm is dedicated to my sister, Chloe, who has always found light in darkness.

Programme note

There is a strangeness to the duality of the word dwalm. It is an old Scottish word with two meanings: a stupor or daydream (as in the phrase in a dwalm), and to faint or fall ill. It comes from the Old English word dwolma, which means confusion.


What is strange is that a daydream is such a light and lovely drifting of the mind, whereas fainting or falling ill is a sudden wrenching. Perhaps though, they are different surfacings of the same darkness.


This piece for ~Nois is half lullaby, half keen; both songs to set someone to rest, whether by drifting off or being bid a final, fearsome farewell.

Dwalm - a piece by composer Gemma Peacocke
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