“I’ve always loved trains and I’m often told that my compositions sound like trains even
when they are supposed to be about other things!”
Suite for beginners and improvers in 3 movements
1. Steam Train Blues
Good dynamics and a steady accelerando at the start of Steam Train Blues will help to
create the effect of a heavy train pulling away – the players bows are the pistons! Good
strong rhythm from the cellos will keep this piece steaming along in the main section.
2. Memories of a Branch Line
Disused railways make me feel sad and thanks to the cuts to the railway network in
the 1960s inspired by Dr. Beeching, there are many abandoned railway routes in the
UK. This movement should be played with plenty of emotion.
The streamlined A4 pacific – Mallard, gained the world speed record for steam
locomotives by travelling at 126 mph in 1938. This movement should be played as fast
as possible, and in bars 3&4 and 7&8, the music should be played in the style of a
This piece works very well as a trio for two violins and cello, however the addition of
any of the other parts expands the harmony and fills the textures.
The third violin part uses only open strings and first finger so that players in the early
stages of learning can still gain experience of ensemble playing.