Blue silence : for cello and piano
by Elena Kats-Chernin (2006)
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Blue Silence was written for an exhibition in New South
Wales, devoted to artists suffering schizophrenia, called "For
Matthew and Others". It was commissioned by Joan Sutherland
Performing Arts Centre and had its premiere in September 2006. At
the base of the piece (which incidentally starts similarly to the
way my piece Mythic for orchestra 2004 ends) is a
4-chord progression, very simple and minimal.
A person with schizophrenia hears voices, which can be very disturbing, there is a yearning for silence. I wrote this work so that my son Alex who suffers from the illness can listen to calmness, meditation. It's called Blue Silence because blue is sometimes associated with healing. Original version was for Violoncello and Piano. There are also versions for a) Piano solo and b) for 4 Clarinets c) Flute and Piano d) clarinet and piano e) clarinet/cello and piano (made for Rachel Scott in February 2009) f) harp and cello ( a slightly shorter version, for Alice Giles and David Pereira in Jan. 09)
In February 2009 I was compelled to do one more arrangement of it for Rachel Scott, for clarinet, cello and piano. In this arrangement there is a lot of interplay and echo between the single line instruments, i.e. they are not playing a lot together, rather one after the other.
Instrumentation: Cello, piano.
Duration: 9 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to parents of people with schizophrenia
Commission note: Commissioned by Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.. Commissioned for the exhibition opening For Matthew and Others, 22nd - 23rd September 2006 by Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith, NSW
Performances of this work
6 Mar 2020: at Songs of Silent Earth : An International Women's Day Concert Fundraiser for CWA Drought Relief (Holy Cross Church, Lutwyche). Featuring Muses Trio.
6 Feb 2019: at Lilith Night - A celebration of women composers across contemporary music genres. (Beaumont House). Featuring Gabriella Smart, Maryanne Piper.
15 May 2016: at ACACIA QUARTET present Blue Silence - string miniatures by Elena Kats-Chernin (Sydney Opera House, Utzon Room). Featuring Acacia Quartet.
13 Mar 2016: at Muses Trio: Reclaiming the Spirit for International Women's Day (Gretel Farm). Featuring Muses Trio.
12 Mar 2016: at Muses Trio: Reclaiming the Spirit for International Women's Day (Caloundra Regional Art Gallery). Featuring Muses Trio.
11 Mar 2016: at Muses Trio: Reclaiming the Spirit for International Women's Day (St Mary's Kangaroo Point (Brisbane)). Featuring Muses Trio.
9 Sep 12.
8 Sep 2012: at Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music 2012 (Tyalgum Hall).
11 May 12: Various venues in Canberra, ACT
12 May 2010: at Clarity Clarinet Quartet: A revised history of the clarinet (Theatre Husk, Melbourne). Featuring Nicole Canham, Andrew Seymour, Samantha Kelson Gray, Lisa Clarke.
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