Trace elements : any two wind & any two string instruments
by Damien Ricketson (2003)
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Library shelf no. CD 1864 [Available for loan]
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Library shelf no. 785.4414/RIC 1 [Available for loan]
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Trace Elements is an open-scored work for any combination of two wind and two string instruments. The work took its inspiration from an ancient manuscript, the Cracow Lute Tablature, or rather, an article describing the manuscript including the cataloguing of 'unidentified genres'. Lost and forgotten musics have frequently been a creative impetus in my work. The relics of such musics - ancient manuscripts, depictions of instruments, even legends or fables about music - provide a landscape of musical ruins that are evocative to the imagination. The most striking connection between the ancient manuscript and this work is that Trace Elements is written entirely in a form of tablature: a system of musical notation that denotes physical actions not the sounding result. As such, the tablature is used as a generic form of notation that may be performed by a variety of instruments from conventional classical instruments, to archaic and non-western instruments. The sonic characteristics of Trace Elements, the timbres of the ensemble and their subsequent pitches, are therefore flexible. The work deliberately invites a multiplicity of possible interpretations. Such openness, however, is compensated with rigorous control of musical gestures. Repetitious events are presented in a syntactic-like context so as to develop a lucid structure that clearly makes the work identifiable regardless of the performing ensemble.
Instrumentation: 2 wind and 2 string instruments.
Duration: 12 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by the 46th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music.
First performance: by Ensemble Offspring — 23 Sep 03. Frederic Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw, Poland
Performances of this work
10 May 06: Newtown RSL, Sydney. Featuring Ensemble Offspring.
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