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Unity in blue : electroacoustic

by Fiona Hill (2008)

Unity in blue


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Unity in blue / Fiona Hill.

Library shelf no. 785.29219/HIL 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Unity in Blue is an electroacoustic work for surround sound environment and ensemble of 9 musicians. It's primary inspiration is drawn from the painting 'Unity in Blue' by Australian/NZ artist Godfrey Miller.

The work juxtaposes both the insudtrial and spacious elements of the painting in a sonic framework, drawing on many elements of the aural world to formulate textural depth. For instance sounds are drawn from a sheet metal factory, an electric arc furnace, industrial tools, prepared piano, Native American flutes, synthesisers as well as acoustic instruments. All of these elements are tied together by the primary focus and context, the painting 'Unity in Blue'. The music draws its' structure directly from the painting: the seven industrial-like structures within the painting forming the seven industrial sections of the music, along with seven contrasting (tesselated) sections, derived from the blue/green background of the painting.

Compositionally the piece draws on many musical movements under the umbrella of 'Western Art Music', for example: programmatic music, minimalism, electroacoustics, modernism and serialism. The painting itself being the inspiration for the music means that all elements are integrated into a unified whole, there is a raison d'etre for these elements to fuse, as the painting itself highlights with the concurrence of elements through sweeping structural gestures and a fusion of medium.

Work Details

Year: 2008

Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, trumpet, bass trombone, counter tenor, piano, percussion, violin, cello, laptop running Protools, quadrophonic playback.

Duration: 45 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Extended work requiring synching to electronic track

Contents note: Tesselation One -- Industrial One -- Tesselation Two -- Industrial Two -- Tesselation Three -- Industrial Three -- Tesselation Four -- Industrial Four -- Tesselation Five -- Industrial Five --  Tesselation Six -- Industrial Six -- Tesselation Seven -- Industrial Seven.

Commission note: Commissioned by Trinity Grammar School's Society of the Arts (Sydney)

First performance: 21 Oct 08. Trinity Grammar School Experimental Drama Theatre, Sydney

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work: Programmatic, Electroacoustic, Spatialised sound, Twelve Tone, Modal, Minimalist, Visual arts

Premiere performance was done with a conductor who had headphones with a click track. The piece can be performed in this way or with all performers with headphones with a mix of click track, electronics and ensemble.


Performances of this work

21 Oct 08: Trinity Grammar School Experimental Drama Theatre, Sydney

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