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Fragrant rain clouds of love : for percussion and piano

by Bruce Crossman (2016)

Heaven to Earth Border House


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Fragrant rain clouds of love


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Fragrant rain clouds of love : for percussion and piano / Bruce Crossman.

Library shelf no. 785.3912/CRO 2 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Fragrant Rain Clouds of Love is inspired by the lucid English translation by Lindy Li Mark of the Chinese opera Kunqu classic, Peony Pavilion; its subtle evocation of the fragility and awakening of love found fragile and sonorous musical responses. The work awakens with fragile timbres of lingering metal responses and stopped-piano sounds gently awaken to lush Kunqu-based sonorities, before erupting to climactic jazzy extemporization-like piano sounds interwoven with Filipino Kulintang gong-chimes and soft skin-sounds of drumming patterns. After the euphoria of the climactic moments, stillness returns in transient and distilled chordal sounds as a type of breath in the structure-as if suggesting lovers' tender moments-before erupting again to the main climax, but this time with free mobile sections that allow the players room to awaken in quasi-improvisations. Symbolic Peking opera gong sounds recalling the Chinese opera origins of the inspiration undergird the final cacophonous climax. The work closes with a return to transient metal timbres of crotales and bowed vibraphone emergences, all amidst whisperings of the Young Lovers' Edition Peony Pavilion text-"fragrant rain clouds of love."

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Percussion (1 player: Filipino kulintang, crotales, vibraphone, hi-hat cymbals, suspended cymbal, Peking Opera gong [high], 1 Korean ching (suspended), 2 bongos [high, medium], 1 snare drum, 2 tom-toms [medium, low], bass drum; strikers: medium mallets, soft mallets, wire brush, percussion bow or double bass bow), piano.

Duration: 13 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances

Written for: Timothy Phillips, Michael Kieran Harvey

First performance: by Timothy Phillips, Michael Kieran Harvey at Duos Concert (The Playhouse, WSU Penrith) on 2 Sep 2016

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Chinese opera (Kunqu, Peking Opera), Filipino kulintang percussion music, and free jazz improvisation (Medeski Martin & Wood; Esbjörn Svensson Trio)


Performances of this work

2 Sep 2016: at Duos Concert (The Playhouse, WSU Penrith). Featuring Timothy Phillips, Michael Kieran Harvey.

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