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Symphony d'aere : for wind symphony and solo violin, reduced version

by Kirsten Milenko (2017, this version: 2019)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work
This sample is from the Wind band with String Soloist version of this work

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Work Overview

A piece on the subject of plastic pollution. The extent of its touch is beyond anything we as a human race have so far experienced. Like a work of Frankenstein, plastics created by humans have now determined a life of their own, beyond our grasp of control or even our influence.

We have created substances that have stepped beyond us and no longer need our intervention to embody methods of definition within the world. We are part of our environment, completely inseparable from its flux and its flow. Everything that we interact with entwined with our daily lives and eventually our bodies.

'Away' is not 'gone' as everything in our immediate environment moves through cycles in strange and unanticipated ways. We have rapidly begun ingesting plastic through its current methods of interaction within our world and cannot escape this cyclical fate. Substances that we initially created are now becoming a part of us. There is no separation.

A contemporary spin on the concerto - Symphony d'aere presents the solo violin against the wind symphony to create stark dispositions between central presence and dissipating melodies. With each layer functioning in a gesture of impetus, a breathing organ-like sound is attained with the soloist forming a point of connection to converse with and within the wind symphony.

The original work was premiered in 2017. The reduced version was made for the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony to take on tour to Spain in 2019. It comprises 40, as opposed to 52, individual parts.

Work Details

Year: 2017, this version: 2019

Instrumentation: Solo violin, piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, clarinet in E flat, 3 clarinets in B flat, bass clarinet in B flat, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 French horns, 4 trumpets in B flat, 2 trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, 2 tubas, timpani, percussion (4 players), piano, 1-3 double bass. 

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Wind Band Grade 6

Dedication note: Dedicated to Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony

Written for: Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony

First performance: by Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony, John Lynch at SCM Wind Symphony (Greenway Series) (Verbrugghen Hall) on 24 May 2019

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Styles: soundscape, fable, concerto, nature, spectral --- Influences: Feldman, Stravinsky, Pärt

Reduced version for 40-42 players.


Performances of this work

23 Nov 2019: at Australian Stories (Concordia College Chapel). Featuring Jacqui Carias, Adelaide Wind Orchestra, Bryan Griffiths.

11 Jul 19: Teatro Montecarlo - Buñol, Spain.. Featuring John Lynch, Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony, Anna da Silva Chen.

9 Jul 19: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía - Madrid, Spain. Featuring Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony, John Lynch, Anna da Silva Chen.

24 May 2019: at SCM Wind Symphony (Greenway Series) (Verbrugghen Hall). Featuring John Lynch, Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony.

26 Oct 17: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Featuring John Lynch, Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony, Annabelle Swainston.

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