duration: ca' 3'30"
Arbophillia is latin for "the love of trees" and was written for William Howard's love songs project in 2016 as a new conception of the idea of love in contemporary times. It is, in spirit, inspired by the wonder for trees as poet Philip Larkin wrote in his 'The Trees', naming them 'unresting castles' in their ability to seemingly die every winter and bloom in green every spring.
The tree is taken as the ultimate symbol for nature, as it harbours micro-ecosystems of ants and funghi, of earth worms and cicadas. Its branches perpetuate in a manner that is strange and yet as natural as we have five fingers on our hands. Numerous proverbs and countless poems have been written about trees. This piece is another ode to them, attempting to encapsulate these aspects through the exploitation of the piano's registers and possibilities for colour.
William Howard gave the world premiere of Arbophilia on the 26th of April 2017 in Hoxton Hall, London. Xiazi Cheng gave the German premiere on the 9th of July 2018 in the Musikakademie Kassel main hall.