On Claudy Banks is a quiet response to the musical and lyrical content of the traditional folk song, Claudy (sometimes Cloddy) Banks. Hymn-like outer sections are balanced by a somewhat sinister, brooding central section that feeds on the military backdrop to the song's lyric - a woman mourning the supposed loss of her lover at war with the Spanish - by the inclusion of the Irish drum, the bodhrán (the river Claudy is in Ireland). The overriding mood of the piece is, however, one of peaceful melancholy. All the musical material is borrowed from the song, although its profile is most obviously present in the outer sections.
Martin Butler (b.1960)