Chamber of horrors : for harp solo
by Elena Kats-Chernin (1995)
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This piece is an example of what happens when the title came
before the piece.
A wonderful Australian harpist Marshall McGuire and I were discussing a possibility of me writing a piece for him, we were sitting in a cafe and, while we were talking about our love for theatre, this title just appeared in our conversation and immediately my imagination was ignited by the visions of ghosts, glow worms, sparkles and all sorts of gestural images that would pop up, all in an ironic kind of way. The piece is based on two main themes :
one is a slightly abstract melody and the other is a progression
of 13 chords starting in A minor.
Marshall premiered the piece at the Sydney Spring Festival in 1995 and it exists on his solo CD "Rough Magic".
Around the same time I wrote a piece for piano solo "Variations in a Serious Black Dress" and I used similar starting material and the chord sequence in that piece. However, the treatment of these 13 chords is quite different in the two solo pieces. Chamber of Horrors turned out to be dominated by the light "Creepishness" of the harmonies, which undergo various stages of development, mostly in my attempt ot explore the rich colour of the sound of the harp.
Duration: 7 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Marshall McGuire
Performances of this work
17 Jul 2016: at Her Beauty and Her Terror - Resonance Music Series (Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre (BACC), Brighton Town Hall). Featuring Jacinta Dennett.
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