Peter Nelson
University of Edinburgh


Portfolio, Practice Based, music, score, theatre, percussion


Limology is an original 20 minute work in three sections for percussion ensemble, composed by Peter Nelson between 2017–18 during a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation, as part of a theatrical work in five parts, Nómadas conceived by Caribbean-born choreographer Henry Daniel. It was commissioned by Cambridge Music Conference for the Canadian ensemble Fringe Percussion. Nómadas is a collaborative work with composers Nigel Osborne (UK) and Owen Underhill (Canada), on the subject of the contemporary migration crisis. Preliminary discussions based on existing work by Daniel took place between the four principal collaborators, and one conceptual area was agreed for each of the three composers. Limology deals specifically with Mediterranean migration, using structural concepts from border theory. It forms the third part of the work, using images reflecting contemporary media representations. Swell portrays the surge of the Mediterranean, or any stormy crossing seen from a rubber raft or overcrowded vessel, passing from crisis to loss. Flight presents the imagined border between hope and terror, crossed and re-crossed in the mind of the migrant. Limbo evokes the temporary stasis of the refugee camp or detention centre. Thematic elements composed by Nelson for Limology were taken by Underhill as the basis for the final part of the work. The decision to work collaboratively was a conscious attempt to share concepts and materials emblematic of the cultural divides and reconciliations at the heart of the project. The place of performance, Squamish land in the heart of the city of Vancouver, was implicated from the start as a site of critical importance in the imagination of the work, as a site settled by immigrants. The cross-cultural imperatives of the creative process led to a work that presents its diverse materials as imagined in the contexts and contrasts of settler culture, and as recognising the encounters arising from contemporary migration.

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30 May 2024


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.