Eric Skytterholm Egan is an Irish-Norwegian composer based in Newcastle. He has worked with musicians and ensembles including Curious Chamber Players, Fidelio Trio, Arditti Quartet, El Perro Andaluz, Crash Ensemble and players from the BBC SSO, Northern Sinfonia and Klangforum Wien. Eric is currently teaching fellow in composition at Durham University.
A PINT OF PLAIN is a piece about the great joy to be had in having a couple down the pub. The piece explores some very serious compositional concepts but it’s mostly about the unadulterated joy of the first sip of a fresh pint when there is nothing else that you have to do. It’s about that moment, at the end of a good day, when you with a good conscience can say that the rest can be left for tomorrow.
A PINT OF PLAIN is about those moments in life that you rarely remember but couldn’t live without. It’s about sitting in a quiet pub with time on your hands. It’s about allowing your memories and thoughts to flow freely, unimpeded by external distractions. But mostly, it’s about the interaction between a man and his pint.
The piece was written for Curious Chamber Players for the Impuls Festival 2013 (Graz). It was inspired by the following words from Flann O’Brien’s At Swim Two Birds:
When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When Life looks black as the hour of night –
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.