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From the cave mouth : soprano with ensemble

by Jennifer Fowler (2017)

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Work Overview

The title refers to a voice or message which seems to convey something highly charged, but enigmatic. It could be the prophecies of an oracle, or refer to something found in a cave needing interpretation, such as ancient scrolls or a pile of bones. "Cave" also implies echoes.

The music issues as three lines of similar range which intertwine. At any moment the choice of notes is restricted and the voices circle around each other, echoing the chosen notes, but not the exact phrasing. When new notes are introduced the phrases expand and become more complex while older notes can be silenced. Overall, this method of proceeding results in an impression of gradual change which can expand or contract.

The text (by the composer) is made up of repeating syllables in different order, sometimes making recognisable words and phrases in English, and sometimes only implying a meaning. The limited number of syllables reflects the limited number of notes in any part of the music.

This work is a re-written and much-changed version of Voice of the Shades (1977).

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Soprano voice, oboe or clarinet, violin. Can also be performed on oboe, clarinet, flute (alto & C) ; or soprano voice, viola, flute (alto & C) ; or 2 trumpets, clarinet.

Duration: 14 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Soprano voice goes from middle C to high Bb. The voice is always supported by the instruments with frequent pitch cues.

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