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Work

Moon fire : for carillon and electronic track

by Jessica Wells (2016)

Work Overview

Moon Fire is inspired by a famous tale about a Belgian cathedral tower. Legend has it that on January 27th, 1687, in the town of Mechelen, a local looked up at St Rumbold's tower and perceived it to be on fire. The townsfolk called the alarm and ascended the tower with buckets of water and anything they could muster to extinguish the blaze. Upon reaching the top of the tower it was discovered that there was no fire, but the blood red moon shining through the fog had created a mirage! Hence the Mechlians were jokingly referred to as Maneblussers ("Moon Extinguishers") and even named a local beer after the legend.
Rather than the joke, my piece is inspired by the imagery of the blood moon, shining through the fog to create a sensation of an eerie sky lit by vaporous flames. Alarm bells are heard, and a panic of the people, but descends into an eerie fog-like mystical trance. The power of the moon could be perceived as dangerous, volatile, rather than benign.

Having lived in Belgium for a year, I wanted to dedicate this work to the Belgians who have had to face terror this year in Brussels airport and train station. May they always gather in strength to fight their fires.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Carillon, pre-recorded sound.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Written for: Lyn Fuller

Commission note: Commissioned by National Capital Authority.

First performance: by Lyn Fuller — 5 May 16. Canberra International Music Festival

There are 2 versions of this work; one transposed a semitone up for the National Carillon Canberra, one transposed up a perfect 4th for the Palau de la Generalitat Carillon in Barcelona.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2017 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Instrumental Finalist Jessica Wells

Analysis

Resonate article: 2017 Art Music Awards finalists: comments by judging panels by Australian Music Centre

Performances of this work

5 May 16: Canberra International Music Festival. Featuring Lyn Fuller.

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