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City of snakes : for B flat clarinet, piano, bass, and drums

by Michael Kieran Harvey (2013)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Michael Kieran Harvey, Eugene Ughetti, Ashley William Smith from the CD Psychosonata



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Psychosonata / Michael Kieran Harvey.

Library shelf no. CD 2493 [Not for loan]

City of snakes


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City of snakes : for bass clarinet, piano, bass and drumkit / Michael Kieran Harvey.

Library shelf no. 785.3414/HAR 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Dedicated to my daughter, Isabella Harvey, City of Snakes was a commission by the Tasmanian video artist and musician Leigh Hobba. This version of the piece was premiered by the acclaimed Australian clarinetist Ashley Smith on 1st August 2013 at the University of West Australia. The title refers to the city of Hobart, regularly encircled by fire, with a nod to Zappa's City of Tiny Lites.

The style is unrelentingly commercial, but within an asymmetrical time signature of 5/4, thereby making it difficult to dance to. The work allows for extended bass clarinet techniques such as slap-tonguing and optional improvisation at the performer's discretion.

Work Details

Year: 2013

Instrumentation: Bass clarinet, piano, electric bass, drumkit.

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — advanced reading, ensemble co-ordination and rhythmic feel required

Dedication note: Isabella Harvey

Commission note: Commissioned by Leigh Hobba.. Leigh Hobba

First performance: by Ashley Smith — 1 Aug 13. University of Western Australia

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Jazz/rock, funk, Messiaen, George Duke, Nigel Westlake.


Performances of this work

20 May 2016: at City of Snakes (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Michael Kieran Harvey.

1 Aug 13: University of Western Australia. Featuring Ashley Smith.

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