Penumbral Shadow : for chamber orchestra
by Lisa Cheney (2018)
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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.
Instrumentation: Flute/piccolo, oboe/cor anglais, 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet), contrabassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets in C, trombonw, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, piano/celesta, strings.
Duration: 11 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.. Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned as part of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers' Program
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Shadows, wabi-sabi, Japanese aesthetics
- Influenced by: Japanese culture
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