An earlier ‘early music-education’ pupil, Annemarie Kind, who was also a violinist and committee member of the Schaffhausen Chamber Orchestra suggested I write a work for their Jubilee concert. Their conductor, Andreas Schmid, son of the more famous Erich Schmid (once conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra) visited me to discuss the work. He was conductor of two orchestras, one in Schaffhausen and one in Singen (not far from SH but on the German side of the border). He wanted a work that would combine the two groups and suggested both the idea of the two groups placed left and right on the stage being connected by a percussionist in the middle and also the idea that it should be grenzüberschreitend (crossing borders) not only physically (German and Swiss groups) but in the musical content.
At that time I was travelling by bicycle to and from to Bülach several times a week through the Hardwald—a stretch of very dense traffic—and I was fascinated by the sounds of the vehicles as they thundered past me, especially by the Doppler effect that I experienced. This Doppler-traffic-noise found its way into the piece. There was also a lot of bird song, both real birds and fantasy ones (Stravinsky; L’oiseau de feu) and folksongs from both sides of the border.
The work was performed twice: in Schaffhausen and in Singen with interest from the local media in both places. The rhythms towards the end (mixtures of 2s and 3s) were too difficult, especially for the Singen group, which meant that the end fell a bit flat.