Sleep, In My Arms (sextets: string, woodwind)
by Jenna Cave (2019)
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Library shelf no. CD 3148 [Not for loan]
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In mid-2018, after the birth of my daughter, I was thrilled to be invited by Paul Cutlan to compose a work inspired by motherhood for his String Project. As a new mum I would rock my baby to sleep and experience a magical feeling of bliss as she drifted away. I set out to share these moments in the music.
Sleep time began with long "shhhing" sounds, which became a setting for Paul's improvised clarinet entry. Next I would start rocking my baby, patting her bum to the beat while repeating a "sh-sh-shhh" rhythm. As Paul's solo grows, the "sh-sh-shhh" pattern is spoken by violin one, while patting the beat. The bass and string quartet join the groove independently with both jazz and minimalist aesthetics. The music builds as the baby is lulled to sleep, the beat dissolving as she finally falls. Swelling, sustained low notes on the clarinet express the utter calm and serenity that came with sleep, lush chords in the strings growing out of this. The final section, fully notated, starts with a lullaby-like violin melody, developing into a ride on the waves of emotion and love I felt as a besotted mother with my baby asleep, in my arms.
Instrumentation: 1 Bb Clarinet, 2 violins (1st violin double on voice and body percussion), viola, cello, double bass.
Duration: 7 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Conceptually advanced, polyrhythms, independent string parts, artistic interpretation of group instructions in score
Dedication note: For Chloe
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
improvising chamber ensemble, cross-over chamber/jazz, lullaby, minimalism, impressionism, jazz
Performances of this work
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