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The heavenly muzak machine : six miniatures for vibraphone eight hands

by Mark Pollard (2010)

Work Overview

SPEAK percussion commissioned this work with assistance from the Australia Council for the Arts. It is inspired by heavenly sounds and the sacred and sometimes machine like ritual of performance. THMM draws on these aspects both in how the instrument is used and the heavenly sound sources that each movement resonates. Performers sing and play the instrument from both sides, using fingers and finger nails double bass bows and numerous types of beaters. These actions are choreographed to magnify the action of sound production on the instrument. The sonic elements are inspired by notions of a heavenly sound including the mapping of standard church bell patterns within part one, the use of fast moving machine like rhythmic patterns mimicking a large cathedral organ in part 2, the use of sung chorale like cycles in part 3, the use of chord sounds reminiscent of the classic rock song Stairway to heaven in part 4, the use of sound clusters that morph into consonant heavenly harmony in part 5 and the use of a bowed slow moving melodic line that ascends into the heavens in part 6.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Single vibraphone, 4 players (8 hands)

Duration: 19 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Part 1: 3 minutes -- Part 2: 3 minutes -- Part 3: 2 minutes 15 seconds -- Part 4: 3 minutes -- Part 5: 3 minutes 40 seconds -- Part 6: 4 minutes.

Commission note: Commissioned by Speak Percussion with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board.

First performance: by Speak Percussion — 10 Jun 10. Monsalvat , Melbourne

In the same style/genre as A Handful of Rain, Just a moment, One Sweet Moment, and In the Heat of the Moment.

The composer notes the following about this work: Ambient and resonant using gamelan-style cyclic patterns

Performances of this work

12 Jul 2015: at Kupka's Piano at the Imperial Room (The Imperial Room (Wynnum Qld)). Featuring Kupka's Piano.

14 Sep 2012: at ANAM Quartetthaus (ANAM Quartetthaus). Featuring Speak Percussion.

4 Apr 2011: at Speak Percussion: Surface Given Radiance (Castlemaine Presbyterian Church). Featuring Speak Percussion.

10 Jun 10: Monsalvat , Melbourne. Featuring Speak Percussion.

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