Moondani Music : chamber orchestra
by Taran Carter (2003)
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Moondani Music began life when Carter visited his parents' farm, called Moondani, in September 2003 to record insect sounds. While the insect sounds were beguiling to the composer he found himself overwhelmed by the bubbling, lilting songs that the resident frogs were making. Carter was attempting to compose a genuinely Australian piece at the time, something capturing the landscape or history of Australia: he found what he was looking for in the frog-calls.
The ten minute piece begins with a seven note rising figure, first heard in the Marimba. This motive is dissected and manipulated in the opening passages as it is passed around the orchestral instruments. The orchestration here is designed to emulate the sonorities of a piano whereby some instruments linger on certain notes midway through a musical phrases whilst other instruments continue the lines. This creates a sound akin the heavy use of a piano's sustain pedal.
Slowly and hesitantly frog-calls begin to emerge from the music creating a dream-like environment with bubbling, babbling figures moving through the strings and percussion sections.
The sounds of cicadas, passing aeroplanes, wind and bird-calls grow until they lead the musical ideas into a squealing cacophony of insect noises; the humid summer night in full roar.
The work ends with a rhythmical release as the humidity breaks into a downpour of rain on a corrugated iron roof.
Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet in C, trombone, tuba, piano, percussion (3 players), strings (can be one on a part or a larger string group).
Duration: 10 min.
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Nature. Frogs, Insects.
- Inspired by: Landscape and Nature
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