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From joyous leaves : concerto for piano and chamber orchestra

by Elliott Gyger (2015)

From joyous leaves


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From joyous leaves : concerto for piano and chamber orchestra / by Elliott Gyger.

Library shelf no. 784.3262/GYG 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

My association with the music of Nigel Butterley has been a long and rewarding one. As the title of this work hints, it draws its inspiration and materials from Butterley's solo piano work Uttering Joyous Leaves, which has long been a particular favourite of mine.

Uttering Joyous Leaves in its entirety provides the framework for From Joyous Leaves, stretched out so it takes five times as long to play. The lengthening, however, is not uniform: thirteen individual bars spread across the score - corresponding to the entry and exit points of the soloist in my concerto - appear at their original speed, while the proportions gradually expand and then contract between these points. The result is an oscillating process, in which Butterley is always present but comes to the surface only periodically.

A further layer superimposed on this Butterley palimpsest is a succession of invented harmonic structures, derived from 22 notes on the piano which are prepared - a further aspect of homage, to Butterley's long association as a performer with the prepared-piano works of John Cage.

There is no programmatic narrative to From Joyous Leaves; its concerns are purely musical, creating a dialogue between Butterley's style and my own.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: Piccolo, alto flute, cor anglais, clarinet in B flat, bass clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn, piccolo trumpet, trumpet in C, trombone, percussion (2 players), celesta, solo piano (prepared), strings (

Duration: 27 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Nigel Butterley

Commission note: Commissioned by Timothy Phillips with funds provided by Australia Council.

First performance: by Arcko Symphonic Ensemble at Arcko Symphonic Ensemble (Iwaki Auditorium) on 31 Oct 2015

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2016 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral Finalist Elliott Gyger


Resonate article: 2016 Art Music Awards finalists - comments by judging panels by Australian Music Centre


Performances of this work

31 Oct 2015: at Arcko Symphonic Ensemble (Iwaki Auditorium). Featuring Arcko Symphonic Ensemble.

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