A blog by Philip Ashworth, RSNO Composers’ Hub 2016:17

The “unmaking” of a deer was a ritualised process of butchery during the middle ages. Hunting wild animals was an activity widespread across Europe. This was no longer about sourcing food to eat; it was a stylised ceremony serving almost no practical purpose save for cementing the status of the aristocracy.

Over five months in 1916, over one and a half million men were slaughtered during the battles of the Somme. Without question the bloodiest battle in western history, the Allies achieved almost nothing save a six mile incursion into German-occupied territory.

Death was almost certain for soldiers on both sides. These were men sent for sacrifice; they were “unmade”. My piece attempts to deal with this process of unmaking; all that a person was or could be, ultimately splintered and defragmented, shot through with the instruments of destruction.

Unmade by Philip Ashworth will be workshopped alongside four other new compositions by the 2016:17 RSNO Composers' Hub participants on Friday 31 March 2017 in the New Auditorium at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of the RSNO Composers' Hub Workshop.