The Inner Voices of Blue : mezzo-soprano voice with chamber ensemble
by Miriama Young (2006)
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Performance by Rebecca Ringle, New Millennium Ensemble from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 93.
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This setting of Sarah Arvio's poem 'Côte d'Azur' renders through sound a fleeting moment of oceanic immersion, as the water speaks its mysteries. It depicts various vocal characters that speak through the water - with words mellifluous, sometimes esoteric, often wise. Throughout the piece, the spoken voices provoke the sea into a series of tidal undulations, each its own, until subsumed by a breaker wave of vocal lyricism.
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, piano + various percussion (medium metal bowl, mallets), vibraphone, violin, cello.
Duration: 13 min.
Commission note: Composed for New Millennium Ensemble with mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle
The composer notes:
‘For her piece entitled The Inner Voices of Blue, Miriama used a small instrumental ensemble almost identical to that used by Schoenberg…. Miriama employed special techniques, percussive and otherwise on the piano, played expertly by Richard Bailey. The greater part of the poem by the American poet Sarah Arvio (b. 1954) was sung by Heather Ireson. Her rich creamy mezzo, often supporting very long held, unwavering slow passages was a real delight... The poem Côte d’Azur speaks of the sea, of water and of tides and Miriama’s instrumental writing coloured many aspects of this seascape most effectively. It was a moving and wonderfully imaginative piece of sound painting’. – Alan Cooper reviewing the UK premiere of The Inner Voices of Blue, 2008, Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen
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