A note from the composer...
Innovation 216 is a celebration of the beauty of flight through aspects of Bristol's aerospace history, from the earliest Bristol Boxkite Biplane to the Blenheim Light Bomber, the Brabazon and Britannia, and Concorde.
Sounds of the aeroplanes as a timeline are represented within the brass and percussion, in particular wood of the early planes, progressing to metal, the rumble and anticipation of engines preparing for take-off, followed by a perspective of Concorde flying high, floating as though a bird (and a nod to the sound of the 'sonic boom').
Other aspects of flight can be heard throughout the piece such as the Doppler effect, particularly in the percussion. Musical motifs are based around the notes B, A, and C (Bristol Aeroplane Company, Bristol Aero Collection and Aerospace Bristol), heard at the beginning and the end, where the numbers '216' are also incorporated.
The title, Innovation 216, celebrates the innovation of Bristol's aerospace industry and also relates to Concorde 216, the last Concorde built, the final one assembled and flown at Filton, and the last ever to fly, returning to Filton from Heathrow Airport on 26 November 2003. In addition, the music marks the 150th anniversary of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2016.
I am hugely grateful for the expertise of members past and present from Bristol's aerospace industry who gave up their time to help with historical and contextual research, and also provided quotes reflecting on the future of aviation, some of which are sung by the choir in the final section.