Scraps from a Madman's Diary : secular oratorio-drama for chamber choir and wind symphony
by Catherine Likhuta (2016)
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Scraps from a Madman's Diary : secular oratorio-drama for chamber choir and wind symphony / Catherine Likhuta.
Library shelf no. 782.1/LIK 1 [Available for loan]
Scraps from a Madman's Diary (2016) in its original version is a 36-minute oratorio-drama for mixed choir and wind symphony, in 13 scenes. It was commissioned by QCGU, with consortium support from UGA and Sydney Conservatorium. Written in a format of a personal diary, the piece depicts a person's fall into insanity, scene by scene, and addresses the increasingly important topic of mental illness and its perception in our society. As the students of QCGU were preparing for the world premiere of the original version, my collaborators from the same institution - Peter Luff and Ysolt Clark (Horn Hounds) requested that I reimagine two of the opening scenes for two horns and piano, for us to perform at their then-upcoming concert. I am fascinated with horn and its incredible storytelling abilities; for me, it is the only instrument that can tell the same story as emotionally and effectively as a 48-member choir…
Scenes 1 and 3 are contrasting in nature, both in terms of musical material and the underlying oratorio libretto. Scene 1 is an emotional outcry of the Madman, who is not yet aware of his blooming mental illness, and it seems to him as if the entire world is against him, and he cannot understand why. Scene 3 is an imaginary interaction with his boss, in which the boss asks him to entertain his two puppy dogs (a common Australian way to refer to house dogs). At the end of the scene, the Madman promises to the boss that he will entertain his puppy dogs by writing them funny emails…
Instrumentation: Chamber SATB choir (28-32 performers, head microphones required) and wind symphony: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, clarinet in E flat, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 6 horns in F, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, string bass (pref. 2), piano, timpani, percussion (4 players).
Duration: 35 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Queensland Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, Peter Morris.. Commissioned with consortium support from Sydney Conservatorium (John Lynch, conductor) and University of Georgia, USA (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor).
First performance: by The Australian Voices, Queensland Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, Peter Morris, Gordon Hamilton — 14 Oct 16. Conservatorium Theatre, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane
Scraps from a Madman's Diary, by Catherine Likhuta.
Scraps from a Madman's Diary: Scenes 1 and 3
Performances of this work
12 Nov 2018: at Catherine Likhuta and Adam Unsworth's East Coast US tour (Various venues on the US East Coast). Featuring Adam Unsworth, Catherine Likhuta.
22 Oct 2018: at Adam Unsworth, Peter Luff and Catherine Likhuta in concert (Britton Hall, University of Michigan). Featuring Peter Luff, Catherine Likhuta, Adam Unsworth.
12 Sep 16: ueensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane. Featuring Horn Hounds.
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