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After silence : string quartet

by Iain Grandage (2010)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
Aldous Huxley from 'The Rest is Silence'

After silenceā€¦ takes it's inspiration from the meeting traditions of the local indigenous custodians of the Perth region - the Noongah people. When the Noongah clans come together for important ceremonies, they sit and talk for days and days, often simultaneously, many times joyously, sometimes with great sadness as they share news of people who have passed away. This talking has the express purpose of 'clearing the air' for the ceremonies to come. Gradually, the talking naturally dissipates and the community members fall to silence - finally on the same page and ready for the serious business of the gathering to commence.
As the dramaturgy of the story suggests, the piece opens with great activity and slowly reconciles itself to a quiet simplicity. It is harmonically and melodically based around an ascending 4 note figuration, a cell which also helps generate the form of the work as well as being the basis for the final chorale. There are no direct quotes of indigenous music in the work - those are not my stories to sing. However, I am attracted to the similarities between the formal aspects of indigenous ceremonies and our own ritualized concert hall etiquette.
So After silenceā€¦ is an overture from the bush of Western Australia, with the intention of partially evoking the outdoors indoors. It was written as a gift from the people of Perth, Western Australia to the people of Perth, Scotland, in celebration of all that we share.
Iain Grandage. August 2010

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 8 min.

First performance: by Australian String Quartet — 22 Sep 10. Perth Concert Hall (Scotland)

Commissioned by Andrew Bolt, General Manager of the Perth Concert Hall (Western Australia) on behalf of the Perth Concert Hall and the Perth Theatre Trust (Western Australia), as a gift to the people of Perth and the Perth Concert Hall (Scotland) on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Burgh Charter to Perth by King William the Lion of Scotland in 1210.

Performances of this work

19 Sep 2014: at WASO: Chamber Music (Government House Ballroom, Perth). Featuring West Australian Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players.

22 Sep 10: Perth Concert Hall (Scotland). Featuring Australian String Quartet.

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