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The 7 great inventions of the modern industrial age (dramatic music)

by Paul Bissett, Sally Greenaway and Catherine Prosser (2016)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Syzygy Ensemble, Dan Richardson from the CD 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age

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Work Overview

Embark upon a provoking and entertaining journey through 7 innovations that continue to shape humanity, the way we behave and the way we think.

Humanity has always sought to extend the boundaries of knowledge through innovation and discovery.
Yet, just over a hundred years ago there was no space travel, bionic ear, cinema, telephone network…
Or atomic bomb.

The innovation of the 20th century created opportunities and choices like never before.
And it changed us.

New music, old objects, an actor/ress and a chamber sextet combine in a dramatic work inspired by 20th century inventions that changed our lives forever.

Driven by celebrated Australian composer Sally Greenaway, featuring new music champions Syzygy Ensemble, a delightful and whimsical script by Paul Bissett and Catherine Prosser brought to life through a local actor (cast for each show). Accompanied by stunning set and lighting design with over 100 historic 20th C. items long forgotten or since taken for granted.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Actor or actress, laptop (trigger electronic audio), flute (doubling alto flute), clarinet in Bb (doubling bass clarinet), percussion (1 player), piano, violin, cello.

Duration: 59 min.

Contents note: 1. Invention-Reinvention -- 2. Telecommunications -- 3a. Prelude to Convenience -- 3b. The Age of Convenience -- 4. The Mechanical Brain -- 5a. And So Begins Massed World Warfare -- 5b. Postlude: Hymn to Freedom -- 6. The Miracles of Modern Medicine -- 7. The Advent of Cinema -- 8. Finale: The 7 Great Inventions.

Commission note: Commissioned by Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Commission with funds provided by Merlyn Myer Fund, Melbourne Recital Centre.. This work was made possible with thanks to the inaugural Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Commission.

First performance: by Syzygy Ensemble at Syzygy & Greenaway (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon) on 27 Apr 2016

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2017 Art Music Awards: State Awards Winner: ACT State Award Sally Greenaway

Performances of this work

29 Jul 17: Street Theatre, Canberra. Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

28 Jul 17: Street Theatre, Canberra. Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

27 Jul 17: The Street Theatre. Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

26 Jul 2017: at 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age (The Street Theatre, Canberra). Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

27 Apr 2016: at Syzygy & Greenaway (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

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