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Affirmations (trios: recorder, didjeridu, cello)

by Paul Cutlan (2014)



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Affirmations / Paul Cutlan.

Library shelf no. 785.4413/CUT 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The work features each instrument by turn in soloistic passages, linked by strongly rhythmic sections, driven by cello and didgeridoo. The didgeridoo part is largely un-notated, relying on the aural skills and rhythmic foundation of the player. A simple melody is revealed at intervals in incremental larger sections, appearing in its entirety at the climax of the piece. This melody is harmonised in contrary motion, perhaps evocative of early organum. The bass recorder part features highly rhythmic, modal writing suggestive of Indian Classical music or Irish folk music. The cello has the dual role of time keeper, working with the earthy tones of the didgeridoo, and melodic counter-part to the bass recorder.

Didgeridoo players wanting to perform Affirmations should contact the composer for an mp3 midi demo to work with.

Work Details

Year: 2014

Instrumentation: Bass recorder, cello with effects, didjeridu.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmic detail, passage work, multiphonics for recorder, ensemble coordination including reliance on didgeridoo providing an underlying pulse.

Commission note: Commissioned by Aurora Festival with funds provided by APRA, Blacktown Arts Centre.. Commissioned by Aurora Festival with funds provided by APRA, Blacktown Arts Centre.

First performance: by Alicia Crossley, Mark Atkins, Oliver Miller at Ecstatic Dances (Blacktown Arts Centre) on 1 May 2014

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Minimalism, Indian music, Ross Edwards, Irish folk music, Organum, Modality, Indigenous music, Improvisation, Drone.




Performances of this work

17 Jun 2017: at Duo Blockstix (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room). Featuring Duo Blockstix.

15 Jun 2017: at Duo Blockstix (Wesley Music Centre). Featuring Duo Blockstix.

1 May 2014: at Ecstatic Dances (Blacktown Arts Centre). Featuring Alicia Crossley, Mark Atkins, Oliver Miller.

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