Musaic : large chamber ensemble
by Anne Cawrse (2007)
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Musaic was conceived as a work designed for dance; highly melodic, rhythmically varied yet suitable for choreography. It is structured to consist of six short dances of varied mood, texture, tempo and instrumentation that are linked together as one musical work. Musaic investigates the harmonic possibilities available using modes constructed of perfect fifth intervals. Despite this link in harmonic construction, each dance maintains its own unique flavour and spirit. Musaic journeys through darkly ominous passages, mournful odes, exultant proclamations and blissfully serene dreamlike phrases. A prevalence of tuned and in particular metal percussion helps the work glisten and sparkle through both dark and joyous moments. Just as the chequered squares of coloured glass in a mosaic combine together to produce a picture or pattern, so the individual dances of Musaic create a whole bigger than its parts.
Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn in F, percussion (4 players), piano (doubling celeste), harp, 2 violins, viola, violoncello, double bass. May also be performed by an orchestra with a small string section.
Duration: 11 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by the Cybec Foundation for the 2007 Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program.
Finalist 2008 Orchestral Work of the Year, APRA/AMC Classical Music Awards
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