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Astatine

Sheet Music: Score

Astatine : for saxophone, accordion, cello & electronics / Paul Clift.

by Paul Clift (2019)

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  • Instrumentation: Saxophone, accordion, cello, with real-time electronics (MaxMSP/stereophonic).
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Product details

I try to avoid consistently drawing upon the same sources as reference materials; there have been long periods when I was influenced by the textures of abstract expressionist art, or Fassbinder, or Mayakovsky, or less obvious things, such as the grammatical syntaxes of foreign languages. I am still fascinated by these things and people, but am finding myself to be increasingly influenced by less conventional notions, like complex mechanical machines, studies of the behaviour of light, or, in the case of this piece, the properties of exotic chemical elements.

Astatine is the rarest naturally-occurring element on earth; it comes into existence through the decay of heavier elements, and itself decays away within anything from a fraction of a second to a few hours; it is estimated that at any given moment, less than a gram of it exists in the earth's crust. It is therefore part of a process of the destruction of matter, of the sudden entropic scattering of quantum energy which had laid inert for aeons. "...only the allegory of the Empire remains." The nature of this barely-more-than-hypothetical substance was, for me, metaphorically rich when considered alongside the evolution/decay of sonic material, both through the application of various transformative processes within the piece itself and due to the refractive distortion of musical entities in our memory.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (46p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 13 mins

Dedication note: "for Jonas, Karolina & Olivia"
Commission info: Commissioned with the generous support of La Fondation Nicati de Luze

First performance by Trio Saetenwind — 13 Sep 19. Musikfestival Bern, Switzerland

Includes performance directions.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 15 Apr 20.

ISMN: 979-0-67311-627-6

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