PENT : 5 Gleans
by Simon James Phillips (2020)
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Simon James Phillips believes strongly in the importance of process and context in the creation of artistic work. The former has led him to working in various forms of collaboration and the latter leads him to seek out connections to both the temporal and physical contexts in which his work will be presented. For the composition of PENT, Simon connects to the past and to place by gleaning musical material and concepts from each of the other pieces in the program (works premiered in Berlin) in order to create a connection both within the evening's program and to Berlin's broad, ever evolving, musical heritage, of which he is a part. He facilitates a dialogue with the musicians to allow them greater creative agency to contribute their own ideas, tastes and interests to the work, in order to invigorate our position in the present. And finally, he attempts in PENT to make room for the future by creating a flexible modular work that requires musicians to make significant creative decisions with each new performance. The work is more than the performance, it is a way to participate, develop and present the connections to our temporal existence.
PENT was composed with the concert programme of the premiere performance providing the starting point for the material. The programme, focusing on 1920s Berlin and "exile" was: Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972) Piano Sonate N°1 'Stehende Musik' (UA Berlin, 1927) Anton Webern (1883-1945) Quartett op. 22 (1928-1930) Ursula Mamlok (1923-2016) From My Garden (1983) Morton Feldman (1926-1987) Durations 1 (1960) Ursula Mamlok (1923-2016) Five Bagatelles (1988) Simon James Phillips (*1973) Pent (UA Berlin, 2020)).
Instrumentation: Piano, flute, saxophone, violin, cello, clarinet.
Duration: 15 min.
Contents note: The length is variable, due to the modular architecture and element of choice given to the performers. It can be anything between 5 - 20 minutes long.
Commission note: Commissioned by Zafraan Ensemble.
First performance: by Zafraan Ensemble — 30 Oct 20. Meistersaal, Berlin, Germany
Performances of this work
30 Oct 20: Meistersaal, Berlin, Germany. Featuring Zafraan Ensemble.
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