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Nous sommes embarqués : string quartet

by Rosalind Page (2011)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

At first it's not possible to create anything beyond a wish or a desire … you want to give something to the world, something truer, more beautiful, something other than what already exists. Wim Wenders, The Logic of Images

In 1986, after an eight year absence from Germany, Wim Wenders set out to create a film in and about Berlin. More than a film about place, Wenders desired to make a film about people, to reflect upon the question: how to live? when yesterday is still everywhere, present, as a parallel world.

From the vantage point of angels, Damiel and Cassiel witness but are unable to partake of human stories from the epic tragic to the innermost private subconscious. Wenders' film 'Der Himmel über Berlin" (Wings of Desire) initiates dialogue between these stories and those of the angels through a mis-en-scène of division: of time, city, of men and women, young and old, of emotion, earth/sky, of mortality/immortality.

Embracing the inner poetics of the four principal characters of Wenders' film, nous sommes embarqués unfolds as a contemplation on the fluxus between separation-distance and intimacy-connection.
Individual instruments are cast as characters: Violin 1 - Marion, Violin 2 - Cassiel, Viola - Homer, Cello - Damiel.
When Damiel encounters Marion, a French trapeze artist of no fixed place, he desires to be with her. Damiel wants to feel the weight of human emotion, to step into the river of mortal complexity. Marion, sensing Damiel's presence, desires love. Homer, the storyteller of world history, laments that no-one has yet succeeded in writing an epic of peace. Losing his friend Damiel, Cassiel remains in the distant angelic sky over Berlin.

nous sommes embarqués, the text in the final frames of the film, refers to the decision to embark upon any marvellous journey when other wings grow, wings that will astound.

I wish to thank the Silo Collective and Music Viva for commissioning this new work and for their compassionate support during the phase of its creation.

Work Details

Year: 2011

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia, Silo String Quartet.

First performance: by Australian String Quartet at Huntington Festival (Huntington Estate Winery) on 23 Nov 2011

Performances of this work

23 Nov 2011: at Huntington Festival (Huntington Estate Winery). Featuring Australian String Quartet.

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