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The Secret Motion of Things : full orchestra

by Ade Vincent (2016)

Work Overview

"Isn't it strange, to create something that hates you?"
- Ex Machina (2015)

In his incomplete novel New Atlantis, Francis Bacon wrote of a utopian society that revolved around a research institution called Salomon's House. The purpose of the institution was to study the "knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible". Considered by many to be the father of modern science, his writings in New Atlantis and elsewhere inspired the formation of The Royal Society.

Bacon's relentless pursuit of scientific progress was grounded in the practical and the utilitarian - he was most interested in how science could benefit humanity. This focus seems particularly relevant now, as humankind stands on the precipice of creating artificial intelligence that vastly supersedes our own. Will this new invention serve our needs as we intend? Or will it stretch beyond to usurp our dominance?

The Secret Motion of Things is not a rejection of this progress, it is merely an exploration.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), oboe (doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet in B flat), bassoon (doubling contrabassoon), 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, trombone, tuba, timpani (bow and crash cymbal required), percussion (concert bass drum, 4 concert tom-toms, 2 snare drums, suspended cymbal (bow required), tam-tam, tubular bells, vibraphone (bow required)), harp, piano (two plectrums required), 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass (with C extension).

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with funds provided by Cybec Foundation.. Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as part of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program

First performance: by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra — 28 Jan 17. Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne VIC

Performances of this work

28 Jan 17: Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne VIC. Featuring Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

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