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Digital Sheet Music [PDF]: Score

Respiration : for bass clarinet & strings [eScore] / Michael Grebla.

by Michael Grebla (2014)


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Respiration is a work that describes my experience of witnessing Cheyne-Stokes respiration, a type of breathing exhibited by humans and animals close to death. The Cheyne-Stokes respiration cycle is characterised by progressively deeper and faster breathing, followed by a gradual decrease that results in stops in breathing for extended periods. As the breaths drew further apart I would wait anxiously for the next, not knowing if it was to be the last. This process very much sets the form of the work. The bass clarinet musters increasingly desperate melodic gestures between the ever-growing gaps of breathless silence to which it eventually succumbs. The process is narrated by a simple string accompaniment echoing my own feelings of fright, despair, sorrow and eventually, relief. The work was premiered under the name Elegy for a Duck - its writing was prompted by watching an injured duck slowly pass en route to the veterinary hospital. This sad experience became particularly haunting once I realised the duck was not the first time I'd heard Cheyne-Stokes respiration.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 digital (PDF) facsimile score (9p. -- A3 (portrait))

Difficulty: Medium — Difficult solo part, simple string accompaniment.

Duration: 9 mins

Includes performance notes.


Adapted from the solo bass clarinet work commissioned by The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia for the Exhibit Memento Mori.

Typeset edition.

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Score: Respiration : for bass clarinet & strings / Michael Grebla.

Parts: Respiration : for bass clarinet & strings / Michael Grebla.


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