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Work

Lost Pages from the Book of Memory and Forgetting : for string quartet

by Tim Dargaville (2017)

Lost Pages from the Book of Memory and Forgetting

$42.18

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Score

Lost Pages from the Book of Memory and Forgetting : for string quartet / Tim Dargaville.

Library shelf no. 785.714/DAR 2 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

These short pieces for string quartet mark the beginning of a collection entitled, "The Book of Memory and Forgetting". My reasons for wanting to make these works are complex. A significant impetus has been to remember the life of my mother, and in particular make sense of her last years in the strange landscape of dementia. Rosemary Dargaville (1934- 2013) was a feisty, articulate, loving mother, also a campaigner for social justice, for whom language was a sophisticated tool for passionate expression of feeling and ideas. For the last decade of her life, Rosemary lived with gradual loss of language and physical mobility, as a result of the onset of Alzheimers disease. Her perceptions of the present and past became increasingly intermingled, her language took strange and often beautiful forms, with sentences disappearing, or disparate thoughts connecting. In her last days, when she had no words left, Rosemary's need to make contact was expressed through wordless singing, and through interacting with ever-present recorded music. Music was the most important solace for her and music for strings, in particular, was a favourite.

These "Lost Pages" are in remembrance of Rosie. The experience of caring for her in the later part of her life has inspired the notion of creating a music that speaks in unexpected ways - from abrupt changes in direction, to familiar musical objects in unfamiliar circumstances, to gradual disappearances of recognisable traits. Movements I - V are distinct portraits, or snapshots. Movements VI - XI are these same pieces in various states of dissolution and disappearance. And yet always a distinctive, tender presence remains. The music in this collection is intended to be a heartfelt contemplation on the mysterious journey that Rosie shared with us in our family. It is an attempt to express gratitude for, amongst many things, her life affirming spirit, as well as the dignity and resilience she showed in her last years of quiet relinquishment.
Tim Dargaville

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 25 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Ironwood Chamber Ensemble.

First performance: by Ironwood Quartet at Ironwood: Legends and Memories (Recital Hall East) on 23 Jun 2018

Analysis

Resonate article: Insight: The Art of Dissolving by Tim Dargaville

Performances of this work

1 Sep 2019: at Ironwood (Paddington Town Hall). Featuring Ironwood Quartet.

23 Jun 2018: at Ironwood: Legends and Memories (Recital Hall East). Featuring Ironwood Quartet.

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