For No One, To No One was first performed by David Alberman at the SPNM solo spotlights concert, Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, London, UK, 20th March 2007.

The title was prompted by composer and performer Ignacio Agrimbau, who suggested I write a piece without dedication, and which did not purport to convey extra-musical meaning.

The piece has two start- and end-points (the player can choose which “cycle” of the music he or she plays).  The piece does have a visual image behind it, that of a globe spinning on its axis.  Depending on where the player begins and ends, we begin either in the light, move through the dark, and return to the light, or the process happens the other way round (dark-light-dark).

The piece is also a study in polyphonic violin technique: a cantilena in longer durations is accompanied by various trills, tremolos, counter-melodies, and tapping-sounds.

Aisha Orazbayeva played the piece, from both start-points, in the first of my Southampton “Composer Portrait” concerts in 2012:


I was so happy to have a chance to work on the piece with Peter Sheppard Skærved when he brought the Kreutzer Quartet to Tianjin.  In one concert, he played the piece from both start points, once right in front of the audience, as if to allow them to see, Paganini-style, all the mechanics of his playing, and once from far at the back of the stage, as if to force us to concentrate only on the distant sound of his violin.