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Work

The man in the other room : a song cycle for soprano & string quartet

by Ross Fiddes (2014)

man in the other room

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Work Overview

For the wedding of the my son in 2005, my daughter Samantha wrote a poem, The Man In The Other Room. As a string quartet was engaged for the proceedings, I set the poem to music for the quartet. My poet-daughter, who is also a soprano, performed the song at the wedding.

As we felt the song was quite a success, we decided to create a song-cycle with the original song as the centre-piece. Over time, Samantha wrote another 10 or so poems, from which I selected those currently in the cycle.

The work was then developed as a "love and loss" journey for the singer. The music is intentionally lyrical and unapologetically melodic with the intention that such an approach best serves to bring out the emotions involved.

The songs in order, are:

The Cord. This relates to the singer breaking the ties to her old life and beginning her relationship with the "man". But is he willing?

Breakfast In Bed. She is with the "man" and he is serving her breakfast, and giving her heart a flutter.

The Man In The Other Room. A reflection on the relationship and the knowledge she believes she has gained from it.

Autumn's Wake. The relationship deepens for her.

The Lesson. She feels she has offended the "man" and in self-abasement, seeks forgiveness.

A Suitcase Outside Your Door. A bitter song in 5/8 - she is leaving him.

Regret. No comment needed

Work Details

Year: 2014

Instrumentation: Soprano voice, 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 25 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Vocally challenging.

Contents note: 1. The Cord -- 2. Breakfast in Bed -- 3. The Man In The Other Room -- 4. Autumn’s Wake -- 5. The Lesson -- 6. A Suitcase Outside Your Door -- 7. Regret.

First performance: by Acacia Quartet, Anna Fraser at The Man in the Other Room (The Rose Room) on 7 Nov 2015

Subjects

Performances of this work

13 Nov 2015: at The Man In The Other Room (Newcastle Museum). Featuring Anna Fraser, Acacia Quartet.

12 Nov 2015: at The Man In The Other Room (Australian Hall). Featuring Anna Fraser, Acacia Quartet.

8 Nov 2015: at The Man in the Other Room (Mosman Art Gallery and Community Centre). Featuring Acacia Quartet, Anna Fraser.

7 Nov 2015: at The Man in the Other Room (The Rose Room). Featuring Anna Fraser, Acacia Quartet.

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