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Paul Dean introduces his Lockdown Miniatures no.2

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Like so many in the music world, I was gearing up for a busy year of writing and

performing in 2020. By mid-March, the Covid-19 pandemic had shut down almost all music performances in the world and the premieres of my two new works had been cancelled. I was left with two choices - turn the creative mind off for the year or develop something new that enabled me to have an artistic and creative outlet that kept me going whilst allowing me to tell the story of lockdown from the perspective of a composer. On the 18th of March, I began writing a series of miniatures for friends and colleagues who were in lockdown. Most had lost

their creative opportunities and jobs in 2020 and were partnered with another musician in the same position. Many had lost their spirit and some were even in quarantine after returning from overseas. I allowed myself up to 90 minutes first thing in the morning to complete one miniature, then sent the work immediately to the dedicatees. My real hope was that the spirits that were trapped by the blankness of dairies all of a sudden had a reason to get their instruments out of their cases.

By the 3rd of June, I had finished 70 miniatures in 70 days for ten groups of friends - all duos except for a trio written for a husband and wife team joined by their wonderfully talented son on violin.

The second set of miniatures were for my old student and superstar clarinetist Lloyd van't Hoff and his fiancé, the brilliant violinist (and an ANAM student while I was the director), Zoe Freisberg. Each piece is very much written with them in mind, from the very cheeky, the over the top lunacy and a few poignant moments thrown in for good measure. Most of the pieces like all of my lockdown miniatures were in some way related to the news of the day. At the time, Spain was having a terrible time in their first wave of Covid-19 and the thousands of deaths and funerals rose every day. The third movement is scared by the vision of the mass graves in Spain that were reported on the news that day.

I am so happy they have made them their own and I adore the way they play them. I am even more grateful that they have recorded them for on-line release.


Paul Dean, November 2020


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©2020 by Lloyd Van't Hoff. 
Images by Cameron Jamieson and Keith Saunders