Meditation for Absent Friends Solo
This was composed in 1986 for Dr Basil Wilson, Archaeologist and one of the board of directors of the Institute of Irish Studies in Queen’s University, Belfast where I spent two inspiring, happy and productive years as a Junior Fellow (1984-86). I was a frequent visitor to Basil and wife Anna’s home for dinner and wonderful long evenings of debate on all aspects of Irish affairs. His enthusiasm for and encouragement of my research (on the Bunting Manuscript Collection from the Belfast Harper’s Assembly in 1792) was enormous, and in the style of Carolan’s patrons, he commanded a tune in his honour from myself, his harper! The day I had completed my charge and delightedly headed out to his home, was one of great sadness as he died minutes before I arrived. The first performance of this piece was at his funeral at Roselawn Cemetry, Belfast in 1986. A few weeks later, I came to live in Basil and Anna’s home for many months while we all grieved for this mighty intellect and big hearted man who lived life exceptionally well.