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Threshold : for 12 percussionists and a bells 'chorus'

by Noemi Liba Friedman (2020)

Work Overview

This work is written as a welcome to asylum seekers and immigrants arriving in a new and safer land from lives impacted by persecution or war.

This music is drawn largely from the many stories of my family, who, as the Holocaust came into being, tried to assess whether the increasingly dangerous rhetoric and threats circulating would escalate from words to action and whether they should run for their lives. It was not a light decision to leave the world that they knew. It is from this perspective, that I observe many people from countries and cultures across the globe, experiencing similar trials and challenges.

Yet, Threshold does not tell a tale of pity, nor is it political; this is a story of strength, resilience, and gratitude for the many fragrances and dimensions of humanity that asylum seekers and immigrants bring with them to a new country

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: 12 percussionists, large handbell bell percussion 'chorus', 1-4 solo vocalists, instrumentalists, poets or artists.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Elements of medium to advanced difficulty in 12 main percussionists, whilst the bells chorus would be easy to medium in difficulty.

Commission note: Commissioned by Grainger Museum.. Commissioned by the Grainger Museum, in my capacity as The Grainger Museum Composer in Residence 2020

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
'Threshold' is written to be executed in surround sound. It integrates Middle Eastern quarter-tone scales within a contemporary music work. There are novel quarter-tonal instruments that can be sourced by the adventurous and persistent and/or can be substituted. In some respects, this work has been influenced by my studies with Iraqi-Israeli violinist and oud player Yair Dalal, and by my deep love for the works of composer Iannis Xenakis.

Performances of this work

5 May 21: The Quad, University of Melbourne, VIC

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