Sin Bin

Andy Scott, 2008

Sin Bin was commissioned for two “SaxFest” concerts (June and July 2008) featuring the North Cheshire Wind Orchestra, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet and the RNCM Saxophone Orchestra and was made possible through funding from the Arts Council North West and the NCWO Commissioning Fund.

Whilst watching Scotland play England in the Six Nations Rugby Tournament on 8th March 2008 an England player committed a foul, was shown the yellow card and sinbinned*. It was ironic that in this day and age of high technology, the disgruntled player had to sit himself in a wooden chair by the side of the pitch which had the words ‘Sin Bin’ marked on a sheet of A4 paper in marker pen. This quite comical scene led me to think what the musical equivalent might be?!

The six minutes music that comprises Sin Bin takes us from the opening hustle and bustle of the Pre-Match Build Up, to the pomp of an (albeit quite dissonant) Anthem before Kick Off. The First Half of the match is dense, busy and full of energy and brute force. Unfortunately one player is sinbinned by the referee! Half Time is an opportunity to reflect, with key players voicing their opinions. The Second Half is barely underway before another player is sinbinned for an inexcusable offence! As players become tired they resort to the Long Ball Game (i.e. straight forward and direct harmony in a 4/4 time signature), and One Final Effort brings us to the End Of The Match. As the Crowd Disperses we are eventually left with the eeriness of an Empty Stadium, a space which only a few minutes earlier had seen such emotion and energy.

By the way, that day in March saw Scotland beat England 15-9.

Andy Scott

* In both rugby union and rugby league, penalties involving violent play, dangerous play, professional fouls or repetitive commission of a specific offence result in a sin binning, where the offending player must spend 10 minutes off the field. During this time, the offender’s team must play with one less player. The referee usually signals such infringements by displaying a yellow card.

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