Colin Booth - harpsichord, St Lawrence's Westbury-sub-Mendip, 24 June 2011.
Tactus evolves from a fairly free, slow tempo and into something more upbeat, incorporating a gradual tonal shift through the instrument’s range, focusing at first on the rich and hypnotic qualities of the lowest register then moving gradually up the keyboard to the highest note at the end.
Both title and subtitle reflect the instrument’s rich historical heritage. The subtitle, A fantasia for harpsichord, is inspired by the sectional structure of 16th and 17th century fantasias with their free improvisatory elements. This is underpinned by a steady pulse which gives the piece its main title, Tactus, a term used to describe a source of timekeeping dating back to the Renaissance, often around the rate of a human heartbeat.