Evlana presents Constellations: Concert 2 @ New Music Dublin 2021
Gráinne Mulvey (b. 1966) Sun of Orient Crimson with Excess of Light (11’) 2020
Elaine Agnew (b. 1967 ) hhmmm… (5’) 2012
Linda Buckley (b. 1979) revalavit (10’) 2011
Ian Wilson (b. 1964) Cetiri Kamena (4’) 2012
Sylvia O’Brien, soprano
Nathan Sherman, Viola
Paul Roe, Clarinets
Isabelle O’Connell, Piano
Gráinne Mulvey Sun of Orient Crimson with Excess of Light
( Piano and Electronics)
“This piece for piano and electronics is one of a series of works inspired by the writings of the physicist and explorer John Tyndall (1820-93). Although remembered as a scientist, Tyndall was also a poet, inspired by his avid reading of Shelley, Keats, Byron, Wordsworth, Cowper, Campbell, Burns and, especially, Tennyson, Emerson and Goethe. His own forays into poetry writing started early in his career. The particular inspiration for this piece is a passage from Tyndall’s poem A Morning on Alp Lusgen, from the final section of his 1882 collection of essays and memoirs, New Fragments, evoking his sense of wonder at the majesty of the landscape; images of sheer, steep declines, the hot sun and lush vegetation.
The sun has cleared the peaks and quenched the flush
Of orient crimson with excess of light.
The tall grass quivers in the rhythmic air
Without a sound; yet each particular blade
Trembles in song, had we but ears to hear.
The hot rays smite us, but a quickening breeze
Keeps languor far away. Unslumbering,
The soul enlarged takes in the mighty scene.
The plummet from this height must sink afar
To reach yon rounded mounds which seem so small.
Musically, this suggested the idea of combining the conventionally played live piano against a range of sampled and treated “extended” piano sounds on tape, especially timbres obtained from inside the piano: plucked and muted strings, harmonics, bowed sounds…
The piece was written for Isabelle O’Connell, who has made a speciality of works for electronics and piano, and who premiered it March 2020, at the Finding A Voice Festival, in Clonmel. It is dedicated to Isabelle O’Connell with grateful thanks and appreciation.”
Elaine Agnew hhmmm…
hhmmmmm… was commissioned by Concorde as part of their 2012 Up Close With Music series which celebrated 35 years of Concorde. Scored for solo bass clarinet hhmmmm…was premiered by Paul Roe at the Contemporary Music Centre and subsequently performed by Paul at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, NUI Maynooth and the RIAM. Consisting of two contrasting sections, the player is free to perform them in any order.
Linda Buckley revalavit
(Soprano and Electronics)
revelavit for voice and tape, composed for Michelle O’ Rourke, soprano
revelavit is inspired by medieval organum from the twelfth century, particularly the work of the French composer Leonin, and his Viderunt Omnes. The title ‘revelavit’ comes from the plainchant of the original Leonin text, to uncover or reveal.
Ian Wilson Cetiri Kamena
(Vla. Bass Clar, Piano)
“I have connections through marriage to the Balkan region, and had been exploring Irish sean-nós singing around the time of writing this piece (2010), so I decided to base the composition on a pre-existing Macedonian folk melody called ‘Zaidi, zaidi’. I studied a performance of this tune (which means ‘set down, set down’ - the singer asks the sun to set) by acclaimed singer Toše Proeski – the ornamentation and performance style are very different from Irish singing but nonetheless I attempted the kind of re-contextualization of that musical dialect that I had been doing with sean-nós.
‘Četiri kamena’ is Serbian for ‘four stones’, relating to a true story involving honouring the unmarked grave of an infant with a marker of four stones – the song’s lamenting nature reminded me of the tale.”