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Ptolemy's onion

Sheet Music: Score

Ptolemy's onion : amplified flute & amplified string quartet / Damien Ricketson.

by Damien Ricketson (1998)

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  • Library Availability: 785.4415/RIC 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Bass flute (doubling alto recorder), 2 violins, viola, violoncello (all instruments amplified).
  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Mark Knoop, Kathleen Gallagher, Bianca Porcheddu, Lisa Nihill, James Eccles, Geoffrey Gartner, George Hilgevoord from the CD Network sounds


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Ptolemy's Onion is based upon eight simple folk-like melodies. These melodies, however, are never literally heard. Rather, three 'orbiting bodies' manipulate the melodies influencing the purity or impurity of tone production, the harmonic consonance or dissonance and the general homogeneity or heterogeneity of the ensemble. As the patterns and alignments of these imaginary bodies cycle over time, they pull and shape the raw musical material like gravity.

Published by: Curious Noise — 1 score (32p. -- A4 (landscape))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 20 min.

Contents note: I. From the edge of the ninth sphere -- II. A view in -- III. Kether's path -- IV. Equant -- V. Shards and shadows -- VI. Blurring maps -- Vii. 'I wheeze'.

First performance by Spring Ensemble — 26 Sep 98. Ninth Sydney Spring International Festival of Contemporary Music, Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo, Sydney

Winner of the Marienberg award for an 'outstanding Australian composition'. Selected for performance in the Gaudeamus International Music Week -- Composer's note.

"Premiered by the Spring Ensemble at the Ninth Sydney Spring International Festival of Contemporary Music, Eugene Goossens Hall, 26th September 1998, Sydney" -- T.p. verso.

Copyright held by Damien Ricketson.

Includes program note and performance directions.

"Revised 2005" -- T.p. verso.

This is a handwritten edition — it is not typeset.

ISMN: M-720068-00-8

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Ptolemy's onion
CD: Ptolemy's onion / Damien Ricketson.

Network sounds
CD: Network sounds : new music from Australia 2002.


- Browse other works published by Curious Noise

- Browse other works for Quintets: Flute, 2 violins, viola, cello

- Browse other works by Damien Ricketson

Analysis & Media

- Full Work [Audio]: Damien Ricketson's "Ptolemy's onion"

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