The sheet music for Lord of the Fountains’ Fugue is available HERE.
It’s the longest fugue I’ve ever written, and almost the longest piece I’ve ever composed, at 14 minutes. It’s in some ways my most ambitious piece, as it’s composed for the tin whistle, which usually has a playable range of less than two octaves and no keys mounted for the playing of accidentals.
Although the piece is written in a sort of neo-Baroque style and includes an enormous number of accidentals and modulations, I believe it’s very much playable on the tin whistle (and its cousin, the Irish flute), as I’ve made sure atypical notes don’t occur so fast that half-hole technique can’t be utilized, and all the notes fall within two octaves.
I feel 85 percent sure there are no other published fugues for tin whistle ensemble, at least that still exist; but I would be happily amazed if someone would direct me to an example!
I started work on this piece as early as October 2020, completely on a whim, and had completed a 63-measure version as late as April 2021. Even before that early version was finished, I didn’t consider writing the piece to be a serious endeavor and wasn’t even invested in finishing it initially. At first, I was engaged mostly in an experiment in writing a two-part fugue (most fugues are at least three parts) for tin whistles.
But over the course of the next few months I came back to the piece now and then, slowly realizing I wanted to put more effort into it. It grew on me. Since the spring, many versions of this fugue emerged, and a few times I believed that it was finished. But each time, I found some portion that begged to be tweaked.
I had planned to include the piece as the ninth duet in the first volume of tin whistle duets I’m about to release (either tonight or tomorrow, I think). But it became clear the fugue was too long and of a character too different than the others, so I’ve released it as a standalone piece.
The piece now stands at 437 measures, and I’m in the process of commissioning a human recording of it.