Curtain! : for chamber orchestra
by Alexander Voltz (2019)
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Library shelf no. 784.3/VOL 2 [Available for loan]
Recounts, obviously, draw on the past. As does narrative fiction, but it also draws on the present and the predicted future as well. Gene Roddenberry's 'Star Trek', for example, with all its innovative wonder, assumes that sapient beings will still wear uniforms in the twenty-third century.
Curtain!, then, is my reaction to the fact that fiction is merely a perspective of reality. That fact should terrify you as much as it does me. Most school students have read Orwell and Atwood; if not, they're well aware of franchises like "Star Wars" and "The Hunger Games". Really, how unfamiliar are the dystopian societies that dominate these stories? I hardly need mention the United States. Australia is no exception either. In its recent history, this country has seen five different Prime Ministers in as many years. Not exactly an optimised democratic utopia.
In Curtain!, there exists a story, its beginning and end coated in bleak reality. I wonder what that story will be for you. And when the ratchet signifies the theatre's falling curtain, I wonder if you will realise.
As a brief, closing aside, I also really wanted to write a waltz.
Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in C, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players - 1: mark tree, timpani, tambourine 2: bass drum, suspended cymbals, drumkit, flexatone, glockenspiel, mark tree, ratchet, slide whistle, snare drum, tam-tam, tom-toms, triangle, vibraphone, whip, xylophone), harp, piano, strings (188.8.131.52.1).
Duration: 11 min.
Commission note: Produced as part of the Australian Youth Orchestra's 2020 National Music Camp.
Performances of this work
17 Jan 20: AYO National MUsic Camp, Elder Hall, Adelaide, SA.
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