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Work

Above Ground (septets: saxophone, marimba, vibraphone, piano, violin, viola, double bass)

by Robert Davidson (2004, this version: 2009)

Also known as: Davidson, Robert - Percussion concerto

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Karak Percussion, Topology from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists

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Selected works by AMC represented artists

Non-Commercial

This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.

CD

Selected works by AMC represented artists : vol. 24

Library shelf no. CD 2370 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (7 more)  

Work Overview

When composing Above Ground, I was thinking of the landscape around where I live in Brisbane, extending out to the Glasshouse Mountains, Sunshine Coast and Border Ranges to the south, as if surveying the ground from a glider or small plane - not too high in the sky. I was aware of the enormous volcanoes that were once dominant in this part of the world, and of the jagged rocky shapes that once were magma plugs inside the volcanoes, as well as the placid lakes and beaches, the lush rainforests and mangroves, and the impossibly blue sky. Somehow, various scattered musical influences made their way into the piece. Raucous honky-tonk silent movie music in the first movement, serene chord progressions of Prokofiev in the second movement and 1970s TV cop shows like Starsky & Hutch in the third one. They just seemed to fit, and I remembered my teacher Terry Riley advising me to keep my musical imagination open to what enters, resisting censoring. Genre boundaries, which seemed to matter to many people when I was a student, have really gone the way of the dodo and I'm glad about that.

The piece is in three movements, organised as fast-slow-fast. It was commissioned by the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra and Karak, the percussion duo consisting of Kerryn Joyce and Kevin Man. I rewrote the concerto for solo percussion after various other versions, including several chamber versions, one (for Clocked Out duo and my ensemble Topology), which features prepared piano as a second soloist. The work has also been choreographed by Franc╠žois Klaus for the Queensland Ballet.

Work Details

Year: 2004, this version: 2009

Instrumentation: Saxophone (soprano and alto), marimba, vibraphone, piano, violin, viola, double bass.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmically challenging

Dedication note: Dedicated to Kerryn Joyce, Kevin Man

Commission note: Original orchestral version commissioned by the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra.

First performance: by Karak Percussion, Topology — 27 Oct 08. Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
indie classical, postminimalism. Influences on this work include Terry Riley, and 1970s cop shows.

version for Karak and Topology

Subjects

Performances of this work

Unknown date: Huntington Festival, Huntington Estate, Mudgee NSW. Featuring Karak Percussion, Benjamin Martin, Australian String Quartet.

19 May 2017: at Dots+Loops Compulsion (Lightspace). Featuring Nonsemble.

6 May 12: Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD. Featuring Topology.

6 May 2012: at From Small Things Grow (Brisbane Powerhouse). Featuring Clocked Out, Topology.

29 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

28 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

27 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (extra show announced) (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

22 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

21 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

18 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

15 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

14 May 2010: at ... Live Attitude (Thomas Dixon Centre). Featuring Topology.

27 Nov 2009: at Sound on sound (Enmore Theatre).

21 Nov 2009: at Sound on sound (Brisbane Powerhouse).

21 Nov 2009: at Sound on sound (Brisbane Powerhouse).

20 Nov 2009: at Sound on sound (Brisbane Powerhouse).

27 Oct 08: Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD. Featuring Topology, Karak Percussion.

12 Sep 04: Old Museum Concert Hall Brisbane, QLD. Featuring Karak Percussion, Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Bonetti.

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