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I dance myself to sleep

Sheet Music: Score

I dance myself to sleep / Joseph Twist.

by Joseph Twist (2010)

  • Purchase Price: $70.00 (Usually ships in 3-8 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: Q 784.2/TWI 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), oboe (doubling on cor anglais), 2 clarinets in Bb (2nd doubling bass clarinet), bassoon, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, piano (doubling celeste), strings.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Sally Whitwell from the CD Dancing with somebody

    (this sample is of the Solo Piano version of this work)


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Sleeping has long been a fascinating and frustrating activity for me. I am a very light sleeper, if not a frequent insomniac, and when I do sleep I often have bizarre and surreal dreams - which I assume most of us experience at some point. Sleeping is a mysterious activity; a strange altered state of consciousness that may involve sleepwalking, nightmares and fantasies, while also being an essential part of living, 
providing rejuvenation, relaxation, escape and peace. The power of sleep may go further; as Walt Whitman suggested, sleep is a democratising force - even murderers sleep like the rest of us, young and old, black and white.
I Dance Myself to Sleep explores the general idea of sleep, but more specifically it relates to a perplexing recurring dream that involves the central 'female companion' characters from some of my favourite childhood movies like Superman, the Indiana Jones films and the Star Wars saga. Representing this is a repeated, romantic melody - a 'love theme' that I wrote at the age of 12 in homage to the enchanting love themes in film scores by John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Max Steiner. However, this recurring dream developed over several years, becoming less whimsical and naive, allegorically suggesting a loss of innocence. This is represented musically in my work by the juxtaposition of sweeping romanticism and haunting musical gestures. The simple melody is played in contexts made bittersweet by particular orchestration, counterpoint and harmony that shrouds 
and taints the unadorned melody. I Dance Myself to Sleep synthesises several musical influences on my work, including film music and jazz harmony, as well as particular works of Maurice Ravel and Toru Takemitsu. 
Joseph Twist © 2011

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (29p. -- A3 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 8 min.

Commission info: Commissioned as part of the Cybec 21st Century Composer Program

First performance by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra — 29 Jan 11. Iwaki Auditorium ABC Southbank Centre, Melbourne

Written for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as part of the Cybec 21st Century Composer Program 2010

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720112-50-3

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

I dance myself to sleep
Parts: I dance myself to sleep / Joseph Twist.

This work also exists as the following versions:
- Solo Piano


- Browse other works for Full orchestra

- Browse other works by Joseph Twist

Analysis & Media

- Resonate Article: The life story of a diva as told by a string quartet

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