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Cocooned in Breath : soprano voice with accompaniment

by Sally Greenaway (2020)

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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

Cocooned in Breath brings together two perhaps unrelated sound worlds to the performance concert hall: classical music specialists and a sound healing specialist. Scored for voice, piano and crystal singing bowl, the trio ensemble brings a new dynamic to both the art of performing in creating a piece of music together, and the art of experiencing a piece of music from both the performer and audience perspectives.

The piece is centred on the bowl "Saint Germaine" which is pitched to C#4/Db4 and has an overtone of a Gb5. The instrument is played traditionally with a suede rod and rubber or felt mallet, but the performer is invited to explore the modern percussion technique of bowing the rim of the bowl. They are to free explore the sound world of the bowl that these playing options provide in order to ebb and flow with the dynamics and energy throughout the duration of the piece.

The music score allows for freedom of expression and some guided improvisation, allowing the piece to unfold organically in the timeline. No two performances of the work will therefore be the same, and the duration is also fluid depending on how the musicians choose to interact with the material and cues given.

The note range for the Soprano (encapsulating the beauty and delicacy of the low-to-medium register) is very closely matched to the pitch and overtone of the bowl. And this, coupled with the repeated note Db on the piano, allows the three instruments to mingle, envelop and enhance one another. The hope is that the sound world experienced by both performers and audience causes the delineation between individual instruments to become blurred.

The composer wishes to thank Soprano Sarahlouise Owens for commissioning this work with the support of an ArtsACT grant.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Soprano, Crystal Singing Bowl (Db4), Piano.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Requires musicians to follow a loose, open ended score, and good ensemble interaction

Commission note: Commissioned by Sarah-Louise Owens

First performance: by Sarah-Louise Owens, Sally Greenaway, Hannele Collis — 24 Mar 21. Wesley Music Centre, 22 National Circuit, Forrest, ACT

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Arvo Part, Olafur Arnalds

Performances of this work

22 May 2022: at Bright Star (All Saints Anglican Church (Canowindra)). Featuring Sarah-Louise Owens, Ronan Apcar.

15 May 22: All Saints Anglican Church, Canowindra NSW. Featuring Ronan Apcar, Sarah-Louise Owens.

14 Nov 2021: at Bright Star (Wesley Music Centre). Featuring Ronan Apcar, Sarah-Louise Owens.

24 Mar 21: Wesley Music Centre, 22 National Circuit, Forrest, ACT. Featuring Sarah-Louise Owens, Hannele Collis, Sally Greenaway.

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