"All in the golden afternoon" is Lewis Carroll's prefatory poem in his book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; in it he recalls the afternoon on which he improvised the Alice in Wonderland story on a boat-trip from Oxford to Godstow, for the benefit of the three Liddell sisters, Lorina ("Prima"), Alice ("Secunda") and Edith ("Tertia").
Sally Beamish was born in London. Initially a viola player, she moved to Scotland in 1990 to develop her career as a composer. Her music embraces many influences: particularly jazz and Scottish traditional music.
Sally’s music is performed and broadcast internationally, and since 1999 she has been championed by the BIS label, who have recorded much of her work. Her string quartet 'Reed Stanzas' received its premiere at the 2011 BBC Proms, and won a RPS Award.
In February 2012 Sally was BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week. She is currently working with Sir Andrew Motion on a joint commission from the LSO and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
"All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide."
“Sally Beamish is a composer of rare talent…There is genuine life and momentum here, exceptional qualities these days..."
International Record Review
Lewis Carroll, All in the golden afternoon
Along with the 12 composers who will write works for the book's 12 chapters, Sally Beamish has been commissioned to write a piece based on this scene-setting poem.