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Above ground

Sheet Music: Performance Parts

Above ground : version with saxophone / Robert Davidson.

Also known as: Davidson, Robert - Percussion concerto

by Robert Davidson (2009)

  • Purchase Price: $53.64 (Usually ships in 3-8 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: This item is not available from the Australian Music Centre Library
  • Instrumentation: Saxophone (soprano and alto), marimba, vibraphone, piano, violin, viola, double bass.
  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Karak Percussion, Topology from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists


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When composing Above Ground, I was thinking of the landscape around where I live in Brisbane, extending out to the Glasshouse Mountains, Sunshine Coast and Border Ranges to the south, as if surveying the ground from a glider or small plane - not too high in the sky. I was aware of the enormous volcanoes that were once dominant in this part of the world, and of the jagged rocky shapes that once were magma plugs inside the volcanoes, as well as the placid lakes and beaches, the lush rainforests and mangroves, and the impossibly blue sky. Somehow, various scattered musical influences made their way into the piece. Raucous honky-tonk silent movie music in the first movement, serene chord progressions of Prokofiev in the second movement and 1970s TV cop shows like Starsky & Hutch in the third one. They just seemed to fit, and I remembered my teacher Terry Riley advising me to keep my musical imagination open to what enters, resisting censoring. Genre boundaries, which seemed to matter to many people when I was a student, have really gone the way of the dodo and I'm glad about that.

The piece is in three movements, organised as fast-slow-fast. It was commissioned by the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra and Karak, the percussion duo consisting of Kerryn Joyce and Kevin Man. I rewrote the concerto for solo percussion after various other versions, including several chamber versions, one (for Clocked Out duo and my ensemble Topology), which features prepared piano as a second soloist. The work has also been choreographed by Franc╠žois Klaus for the Queensland Ballet.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 set of 7 performance parts (32p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmically challenging

Duration: 20 mins

Dedicated to Kerryn Joyce, Kevin Man

Commission info: Original orchestral version commissioned by the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra.

First performance by Karak Percussion, Topology — 27 Oct 08. Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
indie classical, postminimalism. Influences on this work include Terry Riley, and 1970s cop shows.

version for Karak and Topology

Typeset edition.

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