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Light music : for woodwind quintet

by Matthew Hindson (2007)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Sydney Omega Ensemble from the CD Works by Jeremy Rose, Barry Cockcroft, Eric Gross, Cyrus Meurant, Matthew Hindson, and Mary Finsterer.

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Works by Jeremy Rose, Barry Cockcroft, Eric Gross, Cyrus Meurant, Matthew Hindson, and Mary Finsterer.


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Work Overview

The term "light music" refers to a specific genre of music designed for "easy listening" , particularly written by English composers between the 1930s and 1960s. In many ways it was the precursor to what we today would appreciate as muzak.

My own compositions have sometimes been derided as "light", but a response to such criticism was not the only basis to this piece. Rather, the main idea in Light Music is the nature of light, and our response to two visual scenarios or objects. The first movement explores the pounding, incessant binary nature of strobe lights. The music is similarly bright, harsh, irrepressible and possibly even migraine- inducing. It may evoke sensations as found in a contemporary dance club. The second movement is based upon the capacities of the human eye. Apparently its scope is that we could, under ideal conditions, see a single match burning from 70kms away (as unlikely as that seems). So the second movement of Light Music is inspired by the thought of humans viewing the earth in darkness from a near - space orbit, and seeing shimmering lights way down below - maybe even the burning of a single match.

From a compositional perspective each of the movements is based upon a musical principle. In "Strobe", only one note-name is sounded at any one time. The whole movement is based upon unisons and octaves, with extra harmony being created by held notes forming chords. "A Single Match" utilizes many chords built up by intervals of seconds (rather like the Polish composer Gorecki), upon which more lyrical utterances are placed by each of the instruments in the ensemble.

Work Details

Year: 2007

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat, horn, bassoon.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Strobe -- A single match.

Commission note: Commissioned by Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge, Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge for performance by Ars Musica Australis, Ars Musica Australis.

First performance: by Sydney Omega Ensemble — 31 Oct 07. City Recital Hall, Sydney

Performances of this work

27 Mar 2016: at Four Winds: Sound Shell Sunday (Four Winds Sound Shell). Featuring Arcadia Wind Quintet.

11 May 2012: at ANAM Wind Quintet (Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University). Featuring ANAM Wind Quintet.

20 Mar 2012: at Sound Bite (South Melbourne Town Hall). Featuring Musicians of the National Academy of Music.

13 Jul 2011: at Musicians of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (St Bride's).

31 Oct 07: City Recital Hall, Sydney. Featuring Sydney Omega Ensemble.

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