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Digital Sheet Music [PDF]: Score

Animal : for SATB choir and ensemble (violin, cello, electronic keyboard, and percussion) with video, ensemble score [eScore] / Daniel Portelli.

by Daniel Portelli (2015)


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The choir use a video scoring system, which is a sequence of word, phonetic, fricative, and plosive fragments scrolling across the screen. The sequences are laid out across the four voices (Soprano+Alto+Tenor+Bass) and the choir vocalise the letters as they scroll over a red line.

The choir are also asked to follow video sequences with the instruction to vocalise the sounds they imagine the video would be making, much like a foley artist. At the beginning of the accompanying video there is footage of a match stick being struck back and forth in a looped sequence. At the end, the match sparks a flame and burns in slow motion, showing a transformation of this visual motif. The vibraphone player complements this by brushing across sandpaper with a small piece of wood, back and forth repeatedly at varying speeds and pressure. This relationship to me represents ideas of resistance, tension and friction. Much like the friction of a bow on strings, it slips and sticks.

The structure of the ensemble part is laid out as 3 repeated sections much like the 3 by 3 grid of the ocean footage used in the accompanying video, as it crashing against the rocks in different temporal states.

A section in the score asks the choir to whisper short quotes from parents describing the mental state of their children living in Australian immigration detention centres such as: "Open and close, open and close", "The locks and the chains", "I am a bird in a cage", "I am an animal". These were taken from the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention: Mental Health of Children in Immigration Detention, 2004

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 digital (PDF) facsimile score (25p. -- B4 (landscape))

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 9 mins, 34 sec.

Commission info: Commissioned by Soundstream Collective with funds provided by Winston Music. Commissioned through the Soundstream Emerging Composers Forum

First performance by Warwick Stengards, Elizabeth Layton, Simon Cobcroft, Gabriella Smart, Andrew Penrose, Adelaide Philharmonic Choir — 16 Apr 15. Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum, University of South Australia

Includes programme notes and performance directions.

Score for ensemble only. The choir video score can be accessed via http://danielportelli.com.au/choirandensemble.

Typeset edition.

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