Unity in Blue : electroacoustic
by Fiona Hill (2008)
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Unity in Blue is an electroacoustic work for surround sound environment and ensemble of 9 musicians. It's primary inspiration is drawn from the painting 'Unity in Blue' by Australian/NZ artist Godfrey Miller.
The work juxtaposes both the insudtrial and spacious elements of the painting in a sonic framework, drawing on many elements of the aural world to formulate textural depth. For instance sounds are drawn from a sheet metal factory, an electric arc furnace, industrial tools, prepared piano, Native American flutes, synthesisers as well as acoustic instruments. All of these elements are tied together by the primary focus and context, the painting 'Unity in Blue'. The music draws its' structure directly from the painting: the seven industrial-like structures within the painting forming the seven industrial sections of the music, along with seven contrasting (tesselated) sections, derived from the blue/green background of the painting.
Compositionally the piece draws on many musical movements under the umbrella of 'Western Art Music', for example: programmatic music, minimalism, electroacoustics, modernism and serialism. The painting itself being the inspiration for the music means that all elements are integrated into a unified whole, there is a raison d'etre for these elements to fuse, as the painting itself highlights with the concurrence of elements through sweeping structural gestures and a fusion of medium.
Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, trumpet, bass trombone, counter tenor, piano, percussion, violin, cello, laptop running Protools, quadrophonic playback.
Duration: 45 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Extended work requiring synching to electronic track
Contents note: Industrial One -- Tesselation One -- Industrial Two -- Tesselation Two -- Industrial Three -- Tesselation Three -- Industrial Four -- Tesselation Four -- Industrial Five -- Tesselation Five -- Industrial Six -- Tesselation Six -- Industrial Seven -- Tesselation Seven.
Commission note: Commissioned by Trinity Grammar School's Society of the Arts
First performance: 21 Oct 08. Trinity Grammar School Experimental Drama Theatre, Sydney
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work: Programmatic, Electroacoustic, Spatialised sound, Twelve Tone, Modal, Minimalist, Visual arts
Premiere performance was done with a conductor who had headphones with a click track. The piece can be performed in this way or with all performers with headphones with a mix of click track, electronics and ensemble.
- Inspired by: Visual arts works
Performances of this work
21 Oct 08: Trinity Grammar School Experimental Drama Theatre, Sydney
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