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Voice of the shades

Sheet Music: Score

Voice of the shades : playing score / Jennifer Fowler.

by Jennifer Fowler (1977)

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  • Library Availability: 783.6654/FOW 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Soprano, oboe or clarinet, violin ; 2 trumpets, oboe or clarinet ; soprano, oboe or clarinet, flute (doubling alto flute) ; clarinet, oboe, violin or flute (doubling alto flute).
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Penelope Walmsley-Clarke, Keith Marshall, Adrian Levine from the CD Works of Jennifer Fowler. Transcriptions Disc 2


This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Product details

Voice of the Shades is scored for soprano, oboe or clarinet, and violin or alto flute. Alternatively, the piece can be performed on three instruments. The main argument is taken by the first two performers, with the third in a decorative, rather subservient role, until the middle of the piece, when it becomes an equal partner.

A musical technique has been forged for this piece: in that the choice of notes in any part of the piece, is carefully restricted, and each note may move to only one or two other notes (or in the most complex section, to 2 or 3 other notes). The choice of notes, however, changes gradually but continuously through the piece. The aim of the restrictions and limitations, is to achieve continuity and echoing, but without using exact repetition.

In devising the words and syllables sung, the composer has tried to create a parallel with the musical technique, in similarly limiting the number of vowels and consonants in use at any one time. The result is that only words here and there are recognisable English words, but enough syllables are reminiscent of real words to convey, perhaps, an echo of the legend of Orfeo, or the poem about the world beyond death: "Spelt from Sybil's Leaves" by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Voice of the Shades was written in 1976\7 and has been performed at a number of international festivals: the I.S.C.M. World Music Days in Helsinki in 1978; the Asian Composers Festival in Hong Kong in 1981; the "Donne in Musica" in Rome, 1981; and the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music, 1981.

Pages: 1 score (25p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 16 min.

First performance May 78. ISCM World Music Days, Helsinki, Finland

Words by the composer.

Facsimile of composer's manuscript.

Text by the composer.

This is a handwritten edition — it is not typeset.

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Works of Jennifer Fowler. Transcriptions Disc 2
CD: Works of Jennifer Fowler. Transcriptions Disc 2 : pieces for voice(s) with instrumental ensemble.

This work also exists as the following versions:
- Trios: Flute, clarinet, violin


- Browse other works for Soprano with chamber ensemble

- Browse other works by Jennifer Fowler

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