Opalescence : for soprano, mezzo, vibraphone and cello
by Stuart Greenbaum (2013)
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I've been setting the words of Ross Baglin for over 25 years. I love his words and always feel guilty about stretching them out in possibly less than comprehensible ways. We talk (and email) about this often. But he keeps writing words and I keep writing music. And Jenny and Alison - through the amazing vehicle of Halcyon - keep singing it to the general public. So Ross and I were both fully ready to enter the fray once more to celebrate Halcyon's 15 years of performance and contribute our small piece to their wonderful Kingfisher project. Ross's brief text is sonically beautiful but catches me off guard. The surface is impressionistic but the implications are existential and left me grasping for the edge of the pool.
Instrumentation: Soprano, mezzo-soprano, cello, vibraphone.
Duration: 4 min.
This song is one of a collection of chamber works under the title Kingfisher, Songs for Halcyon. The songs were gifts from the composers to celebrate 15 years of music-making by Australia’s leading ensemble for vocal chamber music.
A fabled bird identified with the kingfisher, the halcyon had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice. The composers took their inspiration from the word 'halcyon', each displaying their own unique voice in writing for singers and instruments. The 21 songs represent the cream of vocal composition in Australia and offer a lasting tribute to the relationships formed between Halcyon and the composers who have written for them over the years.
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