Olli Virtaperko’s second organ work, the sixteen-minute Dawkins was commissioned and premiered by Susanne Kujala. Dawkins consists of three attacca movements, opening with Replicators, which explores the aspects of echo. The second movement, Towards Polymorphism, presents a large variety of contrasting musical material, eventually leading to the last movement, Immortal Coils, which concentrates on a melodic flow upon a stable bass drone. Immortal Coils builds up to an elegy-like, tranquil finale with numerous independent melodic lines which are combined, juxtaposed and overlapped. Towards the end, the piece calms down and through a modulation from an E-drone to E flat, Dawkins ends in quietness and peace.
Dawkins is dedicated to Charles Darwin, whose epochal book On the Origin of Species celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008 – the year Dawkins was completed. The composition was named after British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the most important populariser of Darwin’s ideas. The naming of the three movements was inspired by Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene, which the composer studied whilst composing the music.
for three-manual organ