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Night alchemy : for chamber ensemble

by Christine McCombe (2001)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Australia Ensemble from the CD Australians at the Paris Rostrum.

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Australians at the Paris Rostrum.


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Australians at the Paris Rostrum.

Library shelf no. CD 1205 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

As the title Night Alchemy suggests, I wanted to explore the idea of transformation; the undefinable transition between wakefulness and sleep and the strange blurring of boundaries that occurs within our dreaming, in which things are never really what they seem. Night Alchemy takes as its starting point the different types of brain activity within an average eight hour period of sleep. I devised a proportional structure based on an average sleep cycle which switches between phases of deep, slowwave sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The resulting proportional structure forms the basis for the overall shape of Night Alchemy, as well as providing material for smaller scale details of the work - creating cycles within cycles, recurring rhythmic patterns and even the pitches used.

Work Details

Year: 2001

Instrumentation: Flute/piccolo, clarinet in B flat/bass clarinet in B flat, 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Australia Ensemble.

First performance: by Australia Ensemble — 8 Sep 01. Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Sent as one of the ABC's entries to the Paris Rostrum in 2002.

Performances of this work

27 Oct 2017: at Chamber View 5: Silent Spring (Church of All Nations). Featuring Arcko Symphonic Ensemble, Timothy Phillips.

8 Sep 01: Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Featuring Australia Ensemble.

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