The Cotton Mill Worker is a short work based on the poem of the same name which the composer commissioned from his friend, Peter Clarke. Aaron commissioned this poem as part of a collaboration project for his Masters in Music Composition at the University of Salford. The poem briefly describes the living and working standards of a cotton mill worker. The setting for the poem is the North West of England, in particular Rossendale Valley and the area of Rochdale. Following the completion of the poem, Aaron composed a theme based around the opening lines of the text; this can be heard in the opening lyrical melody heard following the atmospheric introduction.
The second theme can be heard in the flugelhorn solo, which takes inspiration from the traditional song, “Poverty, Poverty, Knock”. The opening theme returns once again, with lyrical lines exploiting the rich sound of the brass band imitating the beautiful landscapes of the North West.
In the original recording, the music is accompanied by sound effects and a narration of the poem. The performance of this work with or without the narration of the poem is at the discretion of the musical director.