Ayre of Solace is loosely based on, though very much inspired by the music of John Dowland. I was asked initially by the NPS to orchestrate some songs of Dowland and one of the Lachrimaes, but I thought it would be a more rewarding experience to make something new. I was imagining what it would be like to crawl into Dowland’s head, and compose from his language with the tools we have available today. As the piece took shape, I found myself somewhat intimidated by the greatness of Dowland – he does something profound and beautiful that I can’t put my finger on. I decided to step away from him and write my own reflection on his music, on Melancholy, and leave Dowland where he deserves to be – untouchable and on a freshly polished pedestal.