Butterfly modernism : for piano quintet
by Eve Duncan (2011)
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Butterfly Modernism is inspired by a beach house near
Bass Strait and Westernport Bay designed by WoodMarsh Architects,
which was built in 2010. Its graceful curved rendered walls, its
butterfly floor plan design, the undulating passageways and
gentle, magical atmosphere have led to the nickname of Butterfly
House also being bestowed by those who have seen it. It marks the
change in beach house architecture around beach area with
proximity to Melbourne over the fifty year period, where organic
forms, the use of dense materials such as stone and concrete, and
curved walls and ceilings have been incorporated. It is a
graceful and dramatic architectural response to the beauty of the
Bass Strait coast line, the warmth and security of the coastal
village nearby, and the natural haven that gentler Westernport
Bay offers from the wilder seas outside.
In this piece I have incorporated first of all the contrast of the yin of gentler elements, encapsulated in cloud of butterflies that I kept passing through as I explored the surrounding coastal country, with the yang of the wild seas beating against the rocks around the Nobbies in the distance. The piece then moves into depicting the curves and dimensions of the beach house with the changing nearby sea levels, using the mathematics of these rising and falling levels and their rate of change as given in the 2011 Tide Guide. In the final section I find musical correlations with the drama and rhythm of the architectural dimensions. Like the Chancellor and Patrick McCraith House of fifty years before, the WoodMarsh house also takes beach architecture to a new stage.
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello, piano.
Duration: 11 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Gemma Cooke, architect
Commission note: Commissioned by Arts Victoria.
Resonate article: Eve Duncan’s Butterfly Modernism by Corrina Bonshek
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