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Gentleness-suddenness : for mezzo-soprano, violin, percussion and piano

by Bruce Crossman (2012)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Lotte Latukefu, James Cuddeford, Michael Kieran Harvey, Claire Edwardes from the CD Living colours

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Gentleness-suddenness / Bruce Crossman, composer/artistic director.

Library shelf no. DVD 57 [Available for loan]



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Gentleness-suddenness : for mezzo-soprano, violin, percussion and piano / Bruce Crossman.

Library shelf no. Q 783.6454/CRO 1 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (2 more)  

Work Overview

Gentleness-Suddenness: is a meditation on love and creativity inspired by and a fusion of texts drawn from the Chinese Opera tradition of Kunqu, specifically the Peony Pavilion, and Judaic-Christian biblical texts from Genesis, Psalms, Song of Songs and Revelation. The work is structured in two parts concerned with elemental themes. The first part, Water and Fire, is structured in one arc beginning and ending in silence with cathartic outpouring at the centre: the central static underpinning of Filipino gong music structure is at its heart. This movement explores a fusion of a contemporary avant-garde harmonic language with Southeast and East Asian modal sounds, Jingju and Cantonese Opera rhythmic movement, Jingju melodic shape and Cantonese vocal line inflections with musical gestures inspired by calligraphical painting. The second part, Spirit, is also structured in one arc. Beginning in stillness, the music builds to frenetic and raucous movement at the center, before subsiding back to stillness. Quiet understated moments permeated by fragments of Kunqu melody with Shang-tia mode-based interval-colour sonorities flank the center section; their resonances of interval-colour with vibraphone and Japanese Temple bowl resonances providing suggestions of the spiritual, creative and erotic stillness of "zhe yi sha tian" (this brief moment).

Work Details

Year: 2012

Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano (including clap-sticks), violin, percussion (1 player: kulintang, crotales, vibraphone, suspended cymbal, hi-hat cymbals, Peking Opera gongs [middle, high], Japanese temple bowl [high], k’kwaenggwari [suspended], ching [suspended], Thai nipple gong, bass drum, 1 Tom-tom [middle], 3 bongos [low, middle, high], wood block [suspended]), piano.

Duration: 40 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced — Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances

Contents note: 1. Water and fire -- 2. Spirit

Dedication note: Dedicated to Colleen, my beautiful wife of twenty-five years

Commission note: Commissioned with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board, Campbelltown Arts Centre.. Commissioned for the performers Lotte Latukefu (mezzo-soprano), James Cuddeford (violin), Claire Edwardes (percussion) and Bernadette Harvey (piano) with filmmaker Iqbal Barkat for performance at the New Music Series 2013, Campbelltown Arts Centre

First performance: by Lotte Latukefu, James Cuddeford, Claire Edwardes, Michael Kieran Harvey at Gentleness-Suddenness (Campbelltown Arts Centre) on 29 Jun 2013

The composer notes the following influences/genres/styles associated with this work:

Chinese Opera (Kunqu, Cantonese Opera, Jingju), Filipino kulintang; Peony Pavilion and Judaic-Christian biblical texts from Genesis, Psalms, Song of Songs and Revelation; intercultural Asian-Pacific.


Performances of this work

29 Jun 2013: at Gentleness-Suddenness (Campbelltown Arts Centre). Featuring Lotte Latukefu, James Cuddeford, Claire Edwardes, Michael Kieran Harvey.

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