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Practical mechanics

Sheet Music: Performance Parts

Practical mechanics : an ode to technological optimism, for chamber ensemble / Chris Perren.

by Chris Perren (2012)

  • Purchase Price: $206.36 (Usually ships in 3-8 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: This item is not available from the Australian Music Centre Library
  • Instrumentation: Piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, percussion, guitar, synth, samples.
  • Audio Sample

    From the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 39.


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Practical Mechanics is an ode to technological optimism, and playfully explores the belief that science can solve all human problems. The titles and text excerpts are taken from the tattered pages of vintage issues of Practical Mechanics Magazine, a home science and technology magazine published between 1933 and 1963.

The collision of hard scientific law with domestic human life, is reflected by the juxtaposition of mathematical and rule-based compositional approaches and the ineffably chaotic nature of human musical intuition. Practical Mechanics employs various rational and rule-based pattern-making techniques, including Schillingerian methods, list structures, additive and constructive techniques and others devised by the composer. This machine-like nature is especially prominent within the rhythm of the piece, and imbues the work with a complex yet controlled sense of mechanical determinacy. The harmony on the other hand is immediate and expressive, referring more to popular and folk music and reflecting the human needs central to the development and use of technology.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 set of 7 performance parts (154p. -- B4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Medium — The difficulty lies less in individual parts, and more in executing the rhythms accurately as an ensemble.

Duration: 25 min.

Contents note:

The great awakening -- Construction details of a novel and fascinating machine -- Hovercrat: transport of the future -- Photographing noise -- The shape of wings to come.

Commission info: Written as part of composition PhD program at UQ, under the supervision of Robert Davidson.

First performance by Nonsemble — 7 Jun 13. The Box, West End, Brisbane

The composer notes for the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Post-minimalism, Post-rock, art-rock, chamber, minimalism

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 2013.

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