Falling Embers : for vibraphone and crotales
by Ella Macens (2020)
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Rhythms Of Change / Claire Edwardes ; works by Maria Grenfell, Ella Macens, Alice Chance, Peggy Polias, Bree van Reyk, Elena Kats-Chernin, Anne Cawrse.
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When I was 11 years old I noticed a huge, peculiar cloud in the sky outside my home. It was NewYears Day, the start of 2002, and the family was milling about the kitchen. Unaware of what I was seeing or what this unusual cloud signalled, I continued with my breakfast in merriment. Twenty minutes later our neighbour rang the doorbell and exclaimed, "The fire is coming!". We ran to the upstairs balcony and looked out to see smoke and flames across the valley. Cheltenham, my home, was on fire.
One of my strongest memories comes from the evening that followed, after the army of fire engines retreated and a feeling of safety was restored. My sister Kate and I awoke around 2am and stood side by side, gazing out at our backyard through big glass doors, watching as embers fell like hot snow from the sky and melted into ash as they hit the damp soil. We thanked the wind and all those who came to help us that day.
Falling Embers was originally composed as a meditation for peace and relief from the fires that raged across the Australian landscape in the summer of 2019-20.Tracing a glowing particle suspended above desolate land where all has been lost and destroyed, the piece explores the idea of the last moments of something - the final glow before life burns out. As the music evolved, Falling Embers came to embody and represent something deeply personal and deeply tender taking place at the time of composing the work: The final moments - the final glow - of a very special relationship.
Instrumentation: Vibraphone, crotales in E flat, G, Bb from top octave.
Duration: 7 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Medium-advanced
Commission note: Composed for Claire Edwardes under commission by the 2020 Bowral Autumn Music Festival.
- Has as subject/About: Environmental themes
Performances of this work
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