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Cities of the mind : Cantata for soloists, choir, string quartet, double bass, percussion and keyboards

by Martin Friedel (2002)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

Cities of the Mind is the third of my four 'science' cantatas. The text used are drawn and adapted from a wide variety of historical, mythical and scientific narratives, and have been distilled to a series of 'telling' fragments, about the conscious and unconscious mind and ancient obsession with a 'thinking machine' through the writings of Jung, Descartes, Turing, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, Mary Shelly and Norbert Wiener and others..

The introduction to Cities of the Mind explores these themes and personalities in detail.

The structure of Cities of the Mind consists of three interwined cycles : Short operatic fragments for solo voices, based on historical and characters; choral pieces; and short instrumental interludes, musical reflections and meditations on mind, machine and consciousness.

Work Details

Year: 2002

Instrumentation: Soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass soloists, SATB choir, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, piano, harpsichord (optional), organ (optional).

Duration: 47 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Astra Chamber Music Society, John McCaughey

Commission note: Commissioned by Astra Chamber Music Society with funds provided by Ian Potter Cultural Trust.. The composition and first performance were supported by the Ian Potter Music Commissions.

First performance: by Astra Choir, Miwako Abe, Timothy Phillips, Kim Bastin, John McCaughey at Cities of the Mind (Fitzroy Town Hall) on 10 Oct 2010

Revised and extended in 2010

Winner of Inaugural Ian Potter Music Commissions


Performances of this work

10 Oct 2010: at Cities of the Mind (Fitzroy Town Hall). Featuring Astra Choir, Miwako Abe, Timothy Phillips, Kim Bastin, John McCaughey.

19 May 02: Gasworks Theatre, Melbourne. Featuring Astra Chamber Music Society.

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