‘Oh Bachlein, meiner Liebe
Was bist du wunderlich
Will’s Ja nicht weiter sagen
Sag Bachlein, liebst du mich?
Sag Bachlein Liebst du mich?’
(Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin)
Charr Bothy, a place to take a rest when walking in Glen Dye. The bothy overlooks the merger of the Water of Charr and the Water of Dye on the flat lands where sheep graze in spring. Though the bothy invites the walker to pause, the repetitive rhythm of footsteps, uphill and downhill, keep resounding.
This bothy often reminds me of the passage in Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin in which the singer projects his feelings on to the river. Desperate to know whether the miller’s daughter loves him, the singer wants the river to confirm that this is the case. In a truly romantic fashion, the river provides solace for the singer. When thinking about how I, and other walkers, feel towards the bothy, I feel a strange tension. Following the Water of Dye, we seek out the bothy for shelter from the weather or for the night. It is not the river that provides solace, but a sturdy building that invites us to rest our feet for a moment.
In my composition for solo piano I’ve taken inspiration from Schubert’s song. For the walking theme I've used the first phrase of Schubert’s song as a series. This theme is repeated in an almost minimalist fashion to suggest the mesmerising effect of walking. Gradually, this become freer and more lyrical to express the fragments of thought that the activity releases.
Copyright text and music Petra Vergunst