Dancing on Clouds : string orchestra
by Paul Stanhope (2018)
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Collective Wisdom : Hush collection Volume 18 / performed by ACO Collective, with Helena Rathbone, leader.
Library shelf no. CD 2980 [Available for loan]
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Dancing on Clouds was commissioned by the Hush Foundation for its Volume 18 CD, performed by the ACO Collective. The piece followed a residency at the Westmead Children's Hospital School. In this environment I was impressed by the resilience of the young patients and how many used their imaginations to cope with stressful situations; in this context, music was important to all. They suggested an energetic and optimistic musical response as being the most useful to them.
The image in the title of the piece suggests a flight of fancy into the heavens, escaping our mortal burdens to a place where anything might be possible, even dancing on clouds. The music begins with gentle pulses and melodic contours before launching into a series of more overtly rhythmic episodes. After a short soloistic section where the music comes to a brief stand-still, playful pizzicati hint at a tip-toe dance, building eventually to a larger, energetic musical climax and a brief coda which re-introduces the gentle pulses of the opening. The music ends in a series of cloud-like puffs suggested by soft, high string harmonics.
Instrumentation: String orchestra (no less than 220.127.116.11.1).
Duration: 5 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by HUSH Music Foundation.. Commissioned for a recording and performances by ACO Collective
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc assocaited with this work:
Music for health; therapeutic music for hospitals.
Performances of this work
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