Sleep began in 2012 as a piece for three soprano voices, a setting of these words by the poet David McCooey (British-born but now based at Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria), from his book Outside (Salt Publishing, London, 2011):
you pull over
When Martin asked if I would compose something for string orchestra in memory of his beloved Yodit, I thought of making this song my starting point, partly for the cyclic nature of its harmonies (which could go round and round forever), but also because of David’s words.
The original a cappella setting presents the whole poem three times, the words coming more clearly into focus on each occasion. In turning it into a piece for string orchestra, I tried to preserve as much of the sound and sense of the missing words as possible in the articulation of the melodic lines.