The second of a set of three works for chamber orchestra written in 1983, and the only one using voice, 'Into the Labyrinth' was written for Neil Mackie and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and first performed by them at the St. Magnus Festival, in the Cathedral, Kirkwall, in June 1983, under the baton of James Conlon. This Unicorn reissue is the only recording currently available. The symphonic song-cycle in five continuous movements ponders the influence of modern times on ancient ways of life, with words from 'The Well' by George Mackay Brown.
The other works in the trilogy are 'Sinfonia Concertante' and 'Sinfonietta Academica': the latter recorded here was written by Maxwell Davies in 1983 for the quartercentenary of Edinburgh University. The first performance was given by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Edward Harper in October 1983.