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Work

Lobster tales and turtle soup : for flute/piccolo, clarinet in Bb/bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano

by Holly Harrison (2016)

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Work Overview

Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup is inspired by chapters nine and ten of Lewis Carroll's nonsense book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), 'The Mock Turtle's Story' and 'The Lobster Quadrille'. Along with Alice, the main characters in these chapters are the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle. Both creatures are composites of two animals: the Gryphon - the head and wings of an eagle, and the body and tail of a lion, and the Mock Turtle - the head, hooves and tail of a cow, and the body and flippers of a turtle. I see the chimera characters as a type of metaphor for the amalgam of musical styles in the piece; rock, jazz, metal, hip-hop, pop, blues and funk. The Gryphon and Mock Turtle scold Alice for imagined slights, tell long stories and sing long songs which never quite end, order her to recite poetry (which comes out all muddled!), and insist on her taking part in an unusual dance; the Lobster Quadrille.

A modern piece of programme music, Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup features playful juxtapositions between text and music, frenetically illustrating the characters and narratives through changes of style, tempo, time signatures, and warping phrases.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned for Musica Viva Australia with funds provided by Geoff Stearn.. Commissioned with support from Geoff Stearn and the Hildegard Project

First performance: by Eighth Blackbird (Musical group) at PIAF: Eighth Blackbird (Perth Concert Hall) on 20 Feb 2017

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
rock, jazz, metal, hip-hop, pop, blues, funk.

Winner of the Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2018 Art Music Awards: Performance of the Year Winner Eighth Blackbird (Musical group)

Analysis

Resonate article: Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize to Holly Harrison by Australian Music Centre

Resonate article: 2018 Art Music Awards - comments by judging panels by Australian Music Centre

Subjects

Performances of this work

27 Sep 2019: at SCM Modern Music Ensemble (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring SCM Modern Music Ensemble.

3 Nov 2018: at Wonderland (Sydney Opera House, Utzon Room). Featuring Hourglass Ensemble.

13 Aug 2018: at Rubiks Collective: Species (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Rubiks Collective.

1 Aug 2018: at Jerboah + Rubiks (Splendor, Amsterdam). Featuring Rubiks Collective.

30 Jul 2018: at Rubiks Collective in Manchester (International Anthony Burgess Foundation). Featuring Rubiks Collective.

28 Jul 2018: at Rubiks Collective in Berlin (The Ballery (Berlin)). Featuring Rubiks Collective.

24 Jul 2018: at Rubiks Collective in Darmstadt (Lichtenbergschule, Darmstadt). Featuring Rubiks Collective.

9 Mar 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (Adelaide Town Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

9 Mar 17: featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

7 Mar 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

4 Mar 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

2 Mar 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (Newcastle Conservatorium Concert Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

28 Feb 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

27 Feb 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (City Recital Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

25 Feb 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (City Recital Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

23 Feb 2017: at Eighth Blackbird (Llewellyn Hall ANU School of Music). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

20 Feb 2017: at PIAF: Eighth Blackbird (Perth Concert Hall). Featuring Eighth Blackbird (Musical group).

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