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Serpentine : for erhu and percussion with video and spoken poetry

by Daniel Portelli (2017)

Work Overview

Serpentine is a multimodal work that centres around winding shapes and lines of movement such as those made by a serpent or snake. From a visual perspective it is portrayed as a geometrical sine wave and rotating circles as well as non-geometrically through the use of a video camera by following lines on the ground while walking. Lines in the music have an equally flexible identity, and manifest as movements made by the musicians, grains and swarms of sound, pitch contours, and constellations of sound activity as they occur on a micro and macro level. Daniel Portelli's compositional process uses video as a 'sketching' process to inform his sonic ideas. This is complemented by the lines that emerge in Aden Rolfe's poem - both as concept and material. Taken from The Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, the text uses refrain and repetition to explore the poetic potential of categorisation through the figure of the snake.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Erhu, percussion, audio playback, video, and two media devices to play back video scores.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by Claire Edwardes, Ying Liu — 20 Jul 17. ‘Poetic Energies Across Sonic Space', Playhouse, Western Sydney University, Australia

The video aspects of this work can be found at: on the composer's website

Performances of this work

20 Jul 17: ‘Poetic Energies Across Sonic Space', Playhouse, Western Sydney University, Australia. Featuring Claire Edwardes, Ying Liu.

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