Icy disintegration : for orchestra
by Annie Hsieh (2009)
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The numbers of the icebergs in Antarctica and the Arctic are
diminishing in a never-seen rate. Despite the normal calving
processes in the life of a berg, this acceleration of melting and
breaking is an alarming and potentially catastrophic phenomenon
that is often suggested as the result of climate change or, a
sign of global warming due to human activities.
Inspired by the disintegration of iceberg B15-A - the once world's largest free-floating object, this work is a musical correspondence to the process which led to the berg's sudden breakage in 2005. Although written as one through-composed work, the strong programmatic notion gravitates the structure into the different stages of the event- from portraying a pristine object of the sea, to the gradual appearances of fissures and cracks, to the eventual 'breaking point' and the nostalgic aftermath as the newly-formed ice floes drift to their separate directions.
The principle ideas presented in the work are assimilated from various audio recordings gathered through mediums such as Youtube videos and relevant scientific research centres around the world. These samples were then translated into pitch materials and various instrumental timbres forming the basis for gestures and motives of the work, which in all resulted in a 'metaphorical' use of orchestral colors and texture.
The serenity of icebergs have long been the staple image of the great white continent, but in this new era of climate change, the image has extended to that of uncertainty and concerns of the modern world. Global warming or not, an awareness of such changes in our surroundings should be addressed and such is the foremost conception upon conceiving Icy Disintegration.
Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), oboe, 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet), bassoon (doubling contraforte), 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), prepared harp, prepared piano, strings (4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass).
Duration: 9 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.. Written for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 21st Century Cybec Composers Program
Awards & Prizes
|2014||Art Music Awards: Performance of the Year||Finalist||Arcko Symphonic Ensemble|
- Has as subject/About: Environmental themes
Performances of this work
13 Aug 11: Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Kew, Melbourne. Featuring Orchestre Nouveau.
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