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Tesserae : Movement 4 from 'Fractured Again', for clarinet, violin and vibraphone

by Damien Ricketson (2010)



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Work Overview

Tesserae is the 4th movement of Fractured Again: an extractable trio from a show-length multimedia work exploring music and glass. The full version of the work combines live performance together with electronic music and a glass installation comprising large glass panels that are simultaneously gong-like instruments and video projection surfaces as well as the incredibly rare glass harmonica: an angelic sounding instrument that became virtually extinct, in part because it was thought to trigger insanity. Although these 'instruments' do not feature in Tesserae, the metaphor of glass runs more deeply than the use of glass as a sound source. Almost all of the music scored for the more conventional instruments of clarinet, violin and vibraphone has been derived from repertoire written for glass harmonica including references to the 'mad scene' in Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor and the 'God Music' movement of George Crumb's Black Angels. The opening clarinet solo that comprises Part 1 of this work is a faint reflection of Mozart's Adagio for Glass Harmonica, however, it has been highly misshapen as though viewed through a strange and distorted lens. Fractured Again was premiered by Ensemble Offspring as part of the 2010 Sydney Festival and subsequently toured China with performances in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Clarinet, violin, vibraphone.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by MLC School (Sydney).

First performance: by Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes, Jason Noble, James Cuddeford — 21 Jan 10. 'Fractured Again' concert, The Great Hall, University of Sydney

Performances of this work

20 Sep 2015: at Ensemble Offspring: Shanghai New Music Week (Shanghai Conservatory of Music). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

21 Jan 10: 'Fractured Again' concert, The Great Hall, University of Sydney. Featuring Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes, Jason Noble, James Cuddeford.

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