Fire Storm : piano trio
by Hilary Kleinig (2020)
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Fire Storm was written in response to the events of the
devastating Australian bushfire season that engulfed the country
in the summer of 2019-20, and in particular to video footage of
fire storms. I found these videos, of people defending their
properties and animals, fire fighters stuck in their truck in the
bush, so utterly compelling. They showed the fire storm's sheer,
relentless, destructive power, its unpredictability, but also a
strange, horrible beauty, as it consumed everything in its
I wanted to capture the unpredictability of fire by creating a semi-improvised score and by using extended string techniques, so that the piece is different every time it's played. Also, the essence of fire storms in sound - relentless, rhythmic strings, strange tensions and power, unpredictable pops and snaps, the eerie sound of the wind. These are contrasted with an almost hymn-like chorale from the piano, perhaps a cry for mercy, that interjects and gains in urgency.
Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano.
Written for: Muses Trio
Commission note: Commissioned by ABC Fresh Start Fund.
Written as part of 'Fire Dances', a suite for piano trio, collaboratively written by eight Australian women composers, once from each state and territory. The suite was commissioned through the support of a Fresh Start Grant, funded by ABC Classic during 2020.
- Inspired by: Bushfires
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