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Zodiac turbulence : for large chamber ensemble

by Peter McNamara (2010)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Anthony Clarke, SCM Modern Music Ensemble from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists, vol. 31.

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Selected works by AMC represented artists, vol. 31.


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Selected works by AMC represented artists, vol. 31.

Library shelf no. CD 2448 [Available for loan]

Zodiac turbulence


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Zodiac turbulence : for large chamber ensemble / Peter McNamara.

Library shelf no. Q 785.3219/MCN 2 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

The Zodiac is a cycle used to map the path of the sun and stars across the "heavens", and was used by the ancient Greeks and Babylonians. It contains 12 divisions, and was the basis for the modern calendar and seasonal division.

As the Zodiac was originally devised to divide the heavens of the ancient world, which is now understood to be the universe, Zodiac Turbulence depicts the turbulence found within the universe. This exists in many forms such as gravitational pressures, solar winds, black holes and the constant, unstoppable expansion of the universe.

Musically, this concept is depicted by applying turbulence to the fundamentals of western tuning, which uses 12 pitches. This is done by the use of microtonal pitches, thus expanding musical possibilities. The structure of the work is palindromic and uses 12 sections that each contain a series of tone colours realised by the ensemble. Each is distorted by a process of some kind; this could be a gradual retuning of the harmony over time, a gradual change of register by transposing parts up or down, or even a rhythmic distortion by expanding or contracting the overall length of a texture.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat (doubling bass clarinet), trumpet in C, trombone, percussion (1 player), piano, 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Challenging, but professional ensembles should have few difficulties

Written for: SCM Modern Music Ensemble

Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

First performance: by Anthony Clarke, SCM Modern Music Ensemble at Throbbing (Verbrugghen Hall) on 10 Sep 2010


Performances of this work

10 Sep 2010: at Throbbing (Verbrugghen Hall). Featuring Anthony Clarke, SCM Modern Music Ensemble.

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