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Leda Atomica

Leda Atomica was written for violinist Benedict Holland as part of the Psappha Ensemble Composing for Violin project for first performance in Manchester in March, 2015.

This piece is one of a series based on the paintings (and poetry) of Salvador Dalí (1904-1989).


Leda Atomica is based upon the Salvador Dalí painting of the same name. The painting depicts the Greek myth in which Zeus transforms into a swan and seduces or rapes Leda. This setting aims to represent the visceral and pained nature of the story whilst holding true to Dalí's own catholic interpretation of the myth - the swan is seen whispering in Leda's ear giving rise to thoughts about the incarnation of Christ. The piece comprises three sections; the outer two concern the narrative forged by Dalí's painting whilst the middle section, Atomica, reminds the listener of the surreal and unworldly nature of the work, hinting at Dalí's obsession with the rise of relativity and quantum mechanics in the 20th century.


2014 - 2015


Psappha Ensemble


10 minutes




Benedict Holland, Hallé St. Michael's in Manchester, UK, 29 March 2015

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