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Penumbral Shadow : for chamber orchestra

by Lisa Cheney (2018)

Penumbral Shadow


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Penumbral Shadow : for chamber orchestra / Lisa Cheney.

Library shelf no. 784.3/CHE 2 [Available for loan]

Penumbral Shadow

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Work Overview

There are many types of shadows. The most famous shadows are witnessed during a solar and lunar eclipse when the moon's shadow is cast on the earth, or the earth's shadow falls on the moon. The 'penumbra' is the term for the special shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object. I have recently begun to find shadows a musical inspiration, an occasion for awe and gratitude. Where does a shadow begin and end? I am fascinated by the beauty that emerges from a shadows 'perishability', its fleeting moment in the spotlight, forever moving away from and towards light and darkness. The Japanese have a saying, 'Mono no aware', literally 'the pathos of things'. It is used to describe an awareness of the sad or tragic beauty of impermanence and perishability, and it was present in my mind throughout the composition process. The Penumbral Shadow draws its inspiration from this notion of shadows, of light, darkness and fleeting beauty and seeks to explore this in music.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Flute/piccolo, oboe/cor anglais, 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet), contrabassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets in C, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, piano/celesta, strings.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

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

First performance: by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tianyi Lu at Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Showcase (Iwaki Auditorium) on 5 Feb 2019

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Shadows, wabi-sabi, Japanese aesthetics


Performances of this work

5 Feb 2019: at Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Showcase (Iwaki Auditorium). Featuring Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tianyi Lu.

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