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Fire Storm : piano trio

by Hilary Kleinig (2020)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Muses Trio from the CD Fire dances

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Fire dances


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Work Overview

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 path.
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.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano.

Written for: Muses Trio

Commission note: Commissioned by ABC Fresh Start Fund.

First performance: by Muses Trio at Muses Trio present FIRE DANCES (Nickson Room) on 10 Mar 2022

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.


Performances of this work

10 Mar 2022: at Muses Trio present FIRE DANCES (Nickson Room). Featuring Muses Trio.

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