by Cameron Lam (2012)
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This sample is from the Other Woodwind with full orchestra version of this work
Performance by Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, Sadaharu Muramatsu, Peter Anthony Smith from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 97.
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The EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) is made by Akai but represents a category of instruments known as wind synthesisers. The amount of air you blow effects volume, the keywork is very similar to saxophones or clarinets, and the mouthpiece responds to standard woodwind articulations. However, the EWI has an 8 octave range, can change samples on the fly and occasionally sustain pedal notes underneath a melody.
Electric Phoenix plays into the EWI's expressive abilities, huge pitch range and shifting tone colour to create a dramatic concerto, full of life. The piece is written in sonata form, and as such is based around two different melodies. The first theme (Electric Phoenix) is slow, broad and expansive representing the mythical bird in flight, it is joined at various points by the other woodwind, representing other birds (turtle doves, even a pelican!). The second theme woven into this structure it called Heliopolis (City of the Sun), the place in ancient mythology where the Phoenix was worshipped and returned to die and be reborn. Based on this the Heliopolis theme is energetic, driving and dance-like. I like to imagine this desert city celebrating the return of its noble, mythical bird.
Duration: 12-13 min.
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