Sheet Music: Performance Parts
The styx / Peter McNamara
by Peter McNamara (2009)
In ancient Greek mythology, the River Styx was the division between the land of the living and the land of the dead or the underworld, known as 'Hades'. This work is influenced by some of the features and imagery of this mythological river, its mystery and so-called miraculous powers, and its demonisation by many Christian texts that often describe the River Styx as a feature of Hell where those who have sinned are drowned in its muddy waters.
The first section predominantly features blurry musical textures, conveying an image of haziness and contrasts two musical ideas. These two gestures are three arpeggiated harmonic spectra and three arpeggiated sub-harmonic spectra, resulting in a contrast between clear high register textures and low register muddy coloured textures.
The middle section of The Styx portrays the miraculous powers that the ancient Greeks believed the river possessed. In Greek mythology the ancient gods were made to drink from the river when they had failed to follow through on a binding oath, resulting in them losing their voice. The middle section portrays this by using more brutal textures contrasted by sudden silences. The work's final section portrays the river's demonisation and retains much of the brutal atmosphere of the middle section.
Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 set of 11 performance parts (49p. -- A4 (portrait))
Duration: 11 mins
First performance at Kammerklang 2009 (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music) on 28 May 2009
This work is also available in the following products:
- Browse other works for Other/Mixed percussionist with chamber orchestra
- Browse other works by Peter McNamara
Analysis & Media
- Resonate Article: Kammerklang 2009
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