The title, like the music itself, has become a work in progress – when I started to consider the possibilities of the request from the London Bridge Trio last in 2016 I thought that the work might develop into something bigger than the deadline would allow. My previous piano trio, written several years ago, was called ‘Nowhere to Hide’, whose title came from John Adams’ immediate response when I told him that I was writing a piano trio. So this sequel seemed to demand a similar title, although whether or not there really is a ‘hidden agenda’ will only become clear when I add the two further movements I intend to write. The two existing movements are, first, a declamatory and forceful introduction dominated by the piano, which gives way to a gentle sequence of descending chords with more lyrical writing for the strings, then a brief scherzo-like section leading back to a quiet reprise of the opening. All of this material will be further developed, beginning with the second movement, where the descending chords are decorated by muted flurries from the strings. The main agenda is now to add the next two movements, and I’m delighted to know that the opportunity to expand the work will be there.
Commissioned for the 2017 Winchester Chamber Music Festival, with financial support from Friends of the Festival, together with Hinrichsen Foundation and Winchester City Council.