Listen : for flute, clarinet in B flat, soprano saxophone, viola and cello
by Peter McNamara (2009)
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Library shelf no. CD 2131 [Available for loan]
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In 2007 the Lao-Australian writer Sumana Viravong co-edited a publication entitled Seri-Lao (free people). The stories of the refugees from Laos is seldom told and in this publication, Sumana Viravong highlights some of these stories by creating a forum in print for a range of Lao-Australian refugees to express their stories in words. While listening to the stories of these people (often intensely emotional), Ms. Viravong was inspired to write a short poem entitled Listen. This publication is meant to help us understand others that have fled their homeland as refugees, and while we often speak a lot, sometimes we need to just listen.
My work for flute, clarinet, soprano saxophone, viola and cello also entitled "Listen" uses the words of Sumana Viraving's poem for its influence. The main feature of this piece is the contrast of very free material representing the freedom of the Lao people (either desired or found after fleeing Laos), and strict machine-like material representing the communist government of Laos. The "free" sections are organised by using unmeasured techniques where there is no metre and the instrumentalists are given a finite number of "events" to randomly repeat. The "machine-like" material in contrast uses a regular semiquaver pulse.
Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet in B flat, soprano saxophone, viola, cello.
Duration: 9 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by chronology arts ensemble.
Inspired by the words of Sumana Viravong's poem "Listen".
- Inspired by: Literature & Poetry
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