Martin Parker


Steinmetzarbeiten (stone work) for Piano and sinfonia

Extract performed by Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, conducted by James Lowe with Simon Smith piano, recorded by Sean Williams, Artefact Records.

The score, parts for performance and software are available from |

Written in 1997 for the Yorkshire and Humberside Young Composer’s Competition and performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Steinmetzarbeiten won category A of this competition. It was first performed by Nicholas Hodges (piano) with the Athelas Ensemble. This piece was written after finding a limited edition print of Elizabeth Scherffig’s eight Steinmetzarbeiten drawings in a second-hand bookshop. Close-up viewing of the images shows evidence of a pencil that has always been moving, shifting constantly and perhaps effortlessly over the paper. This conveys movement, change, light and shade. Pulling back to view the image from a distance, the drawings are of slabs of stone, locked in dense and un-movable layers. This piece reflects a similar contradiction. The music appears to be perpetually on the move, trying to go somewhere but it is actually stuck; continually representing the same ascending scale.