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Bell and anti-bell

Sheet Music: Score

Bell and anti-bell : from Parables, lullabies and secrets / music by Brett Dean ; text by Michael Leunig ; sound design by Paul Healy.

by Paul Healy and Brett Dean (2001)

  • Sales Availability: This item is not available to customers outside Australia and New Zealand.
    Please contact http://www.boosey.com for all sales enquiries.
  • Library Availability: Q 782.754/DEA 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Children's choir, a chamber orchestra of strings, 2 harps and percussion, sampler and pre-recorded tape (on CD). Further instructions for an enhanced sound design element are optional.

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This item is not available to customers outside Australia and New Zealand.
Please contact http://www.boosey.com for all sales enquiries.

Product details

Bell and Anti-Bell was commissioned as part of the Australian Chamber Orchestra's collaborative project "Parables, Lullabies and Secrets" for a national tour in July 2001. "Parables" involves contributions from 4 composers, a singer-songwriter and a sound designer with texts by the iconic Australian cartoonist-philosopher Michael Leunig. My composition Bell and Anti-Bell is the longest section from this ambitious joint venture and deals with the modern dilemma of increased automation and lack of personal contact in the guise of a pre-recorded, corporate telephone-answering service. For Leunig, the concept of being asked to "please hold, until an operator can assist you" takes on humorous, yet dark and philosophical dimensions (as Leunig himself describes it, a descent into madness and emotional mess). This is further emphasised by its juxtapositioning alongside an ironically placed hymn to truth and beauty entitled "Sweet Secret Peace" sung by the children's choir. This initially seems to be guiding us into more spiritual and ennobling waters ("real and right and true, how beautiful are you…") but eventually reveals itself to be nothing more than one of the machine's more elaborate holding patterns. Eventually the voice itself loses it's hold, and begins to question itself and everything around it.

© Brett Dean

Published by: Australian Music Centre (under licence from Boosey & Hawkes) — 1 score (59p. -- A3 (portrait))

Duration: 14 mins

Commission info: Commissioned as part of the Australian Chamber Orchestra's collaborative project "Parables, Lullabies and Secrets" for a national tour in July 2001

First performance by Australian Chamber Orchestra, Gondwana Voices — 7 Jul 01. Melbourne Concert Hall

Includes programme notes.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced Nov 03.

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