Irresistible Demands of the Flesh

Laura Bowler

  • Duration

    13 mins

  • Year of composition


  • Number of performers


  • First performance

    17th February 2012, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maida Vale Studios

  • Commissioned by
    BBC Symphony Orchestra


An audacious exploration in sound of the theatrical tenets of Antonin Artaud, specifically the desire to push performers to a point of extremity in order to unlock something fundamentally true. The piece (the title of which appears to be from an entry about Michel de Ghelderode in The Cambridge Guide to Theatre) in part achieves this through an avoidance of conventional notions of idiomaticism and performance, seeking to place the members of the orchestra emphatically outside their traditional comfort zones.

Premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios. To listen to a performance of Irresistible Demands of the Flesh, click here.

Full scoring:
Five soloists and orchestra

3 Flute (3rd doubling piccolo & alto flute)
3 Oboe
3 Clarinet
3 Bassoon (3rd contrabassoon)

4 Horn
3 Trumpet
3 Trombone
1 Tuba

1 Timpani
2 Percussion

1 Harp


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