Photograph © Bill Carslake (Cairngorms 2018)
A Finzi Scholarship project. Inspired by Bill’s solo camping trips looking for mountain hares in Scotland. Timidus is from the Latin binomial for mountain hare. The piece is for violin, cello, piano and clarinet, and is in progress. Bill also wrote a travel account about composing with mountain hares in the Cairngorms.
Over the course of his trips in the Cairngorms Bill became attuned to these elusive animals. He also saw golden eagle and red deer. Timidus is inspired by the tensions between the communities that co-exist in the vast sub-arctic tundra landscape that is the Cairngorms. The second movement explores the power of the wind (listen to the extract above).
While in the Cairngorms area Bill was lucky to meet with Scott Newey – a population ecologist from the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen; Andy Howard, photographer and author of The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare; and the writer, Anna Fleming.
The mountain hare, Lepus timidus, is a survivor from the last ice age. It is related to Arctic and Greenland hares. It thrives in the northern belt stretching from Scandinavia to Siberia. There are isolated communities in the Alps, Ireland and Scotland. In the case of Ireland and Scotland, when the ice sheet retreated the mountain hares evolved into two unique species: Lepus timidus hibernicus and Lepus timidus scoticus. All mountain hares are different from the brown hare, Lepus europaeus, which arrived in Ireland and the UK thousands of years later.