It was a pivotal moment. Two days previously I had walked away from the life that had silenced me and had driven, through a snowstorm, to a place where I knew I would be safe. I cried, slept and cried again. Eventually the crying stopped. I looked out of a window at twelve inches of snow. There was a friend too, sitting close by. A barn owl suddenly appeared in view. It glided silently down onto a fence post outside the window. My friend was so surprised, he fainted. It was still there when he came round and we watched it as it surveyed the snow covered world. Then, just as suddenly, it launched itself into the air again and was gone.
The owl seemed to us to be a symbolic event. At this transformational moment of my life when I had finally taken control of my own destiny, here was a courageous wild creature appearing from out of the storm and gazing at us.
My string quartet ‘Out of the Snowstorm, an Owl’ represents not just the snowstorm, its silent aftermath, and the appearance of the owl, but also that moment of change in which I rediscovered myself.