Night alchemy : for chamber ensemble
by Christine McCombe (2001)
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As the title Night Alchemy suggests, I wanted to explore the idea of transformation; the undefinable transition between wakefulness and sleep and the strange blurring of boundaries that occurs within our dreaming, in which things are never really what they seem. Night Alchemy takes as its starting point the different types of brain activity within an average eight hour period of sleep. I devised a proportional structure based on an average sleep cycle which switches between phases of deep, slowwave sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The resulting proportional structure forms the basis for the overall shape of Night Alchemy, as well as providing material for smaller scale details of the work - creating cycles within cycles, recurring rhythmic patterns and even the pitches used.
Instrumentation: Flute/piccolo, clarinet in B flat/bass clarinet in B flat, 2 violins, viola, cello.
Duration: 16 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Australia Ensemble.
First performance: by Australia Ensemble — 8 Sep 01. Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Sent as one of the ABC's entries to the Paris Rostrum in 2002.
Performances of this work
8 Sep 01: Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Featuring Australia Ensemble.
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