[A]part (big band with soloists)
by Ellen Kirkwood (2017)
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Instrumentation: [A]part 1: alto sax 1/soprano sax, alto sax 2, tenor sax/sopranino sax, baritone sax, trumpet 1, trumpet 2, French horn, trombone, tuba, soprano voice, piano, guitar, electric bass, drum kit, AirSticks. [A]part 2: Soloists: voice, soprano/tenor sax, piano. Ensemble: Alto sax 1, alto sax 2, tenor sax 1, bass clarinet/baritone sax, trumpet 1, trumpet 2, french horn, trombone, tuba, double bass, electric guitar, drum kit, woodblock. [A]part 3: Soloists: trumpet and soprano saxophone. Ensemble: Alto sax 1, alto sax 2, tenor/sopranino sax, baritone sax, trumpet 1, trumpet 2, french horn, trombone, tuba, double bass, electric guitar, piano, drums, percussion (various) [A]part 4: Soloists: voice, piano, trumpet, double bass. Ensemble: Soprano/alto sax, flute/alto sax, tenor/sopranino sax, clarinet/bass clarinet/baritone sax, trumpet 1, trumpet 2, french horn, trombone, tuba, electric guitar, double bass, drums, AirSticks
Duration: 57 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Contemporary jazz including polyrhythmic features, atonality, improvisation, chord changes for rhythm section, unusual meters, syncopation, dissonance.
Contents note: 1. The internet: wonder and malignance -- 2. On the refugee crisis -- 3. Greed and climate change -- 4. The present: reflections and reactions.
Commission note: Commissioned with funds provided by Australia Council.. This work was composed during a composition mentorship with Barney McAll
[A]part 1 - The internet: wonder and malignance
I'm fascinated by the internet and how our lives are becoming increasingly influenced by it. In many ways it's wondrous; information at our fingertips, news and entertainment from around the world, instant communication with people who are thousands of kilometres away. Simultaneously it's like a cancer that works its way into our psyches. Addictions are formed, political rifts widen, personal information is sold and our very attention becomes a commodity.
[A]part 3 - Greed and climate change
These days reality can sometimes be hard to believe. Things are happening that should only be fiction, yet they’re becoming normal. Facts aren’t important anymore; opinion is. There are many for whom the fact of climate change is inconvenient; a threat to their wealth and power, and they deny its existence, telling us we’ll be fine. The truth is, however, that humanity has exploited the earth far beyond the point of sustainability. We’re beginning to suffer from the consequences, and it might be too late.
[A]part 2 - On the refugee crisis
What would it be like to be in a situation where you lived in constant danger? Your country is at war, maybe your city is being bombed, or people you know are being threatened or killed. What would it be like to decide you have to leave, and face horrible uncertainty and danger for the chance to save yourself and your family? I don't know how this feels, but I was trying to imagine when I wrote this. I am also filled with anger and pain when I think of the ill treatment many desperate people receive, but also amazed at the resilience of humanity.
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc. of this work:
Electronica, jazz, samba, glitch, video game soundtracks, chorale, Steve Reich, polyrhythms.
A]part 4 - The present: reflections and reactions
How to process it all? The constant barrage of information, bad news, opinions and quarrelling. And what can we do about it as insignificant individuals? Angst, loss, reflection, determination, rebellion, longing, and maybe a bit of hope.
Ellen Kirkwood was a Finalist in 2017 Freedman Jazz Fellowship on the strength of this work, and for a project involving touring the work.
Awards & Prizes
|2018||Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Jazz||Finalist||Ellen Kirkwood|
Resonate article: Insight: The Making of [A]part by Ellen Kirkwood
- In the form/style of: Jazz
Performances of this work
3 Nov 2018: at Sirens Big Band featuring Andrea Keller, Sandy Evans and Gian Slater (Wangaratta). Featuring Sirens Big Band, Sandy Evans, Andrea Keller, Gian Slater.
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