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Yurabirong : People of this place : bass clarinet solo

by Felicity Wilcox (2016)

Audio Sample

Performance by Jason Noble, Stephen Adams from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 75.

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Chi's cakewalk


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Chi's cakewalk : new works for clarinets / Jason Noble.

Library shelf no. CD 2894 [Available for loan]



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Yurabirong : People of this place / Felicity Wilcox.

Library shelf no. 788.65/WIL 1 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Yurabirong is an expression of my interest in finding ways that allow the separate, yet coexisting cultures present in my experience of 'place' to connect and resonate more deeply. It is a response to the presence of the Conservatorium, an institution for Western musical learning, in Sydney Cove, ancestral country of the Gadigal people. I chose the bass clarinet for its enormous range and similarity in timbre to the dijeridu, when played in certain ways, to evoke different sound worlds on one instrument and within one piece. I use many techniques heard in traditional Aboriginal music: drones, pitch bends, multiphonics, vocalisations, circular breathing, rhythmic and percussive techniques, and apply them to this orchestral instrument. Adding to these sounds, I incorporate extended techniques from contemporary Western music such as key clicks and slap tongue, harmonic trills of variable pitch, microtones and flutter tongues. I am intentionally deconstructing a Western notion of 'music' through incorporating more tactile timbres that sit outside conventional tonality or any specific cultural branding. This approach alternates with lyrically melodic passages that sit firmly within a Western lexicon. As the piece progresses, these two opposite extremes draw closer and blur.

In creating and offering this piece for performance I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay my respects to their Elders past and present, and to all Aboriginal people.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Bass clarinet.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Includes extended techniques

Dedication note: Dedicated to Jason Noble and the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.

First performance: by Ros Dunlop — 13 Oct 16. Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Gadigal Country)


Performances of this work

16 Aug 2019: at Birdsong at Dusk (Wollongong Town Hall). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

31 Jul 2018: at Ensemble Offspring (Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School (Ashfield)). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

12 Aug 2017: at Women in the Creative Arts - conference recitals (Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music). Featuring Ros Dunlop.

3 May 2017: at CIMF 2017: Half the Sky (National Portrait Gallery). Featuring Jason Noble.

12 Mar 17: featuring Ros Dunlop.

11 Mar 2017: at PLACE: Concert 2 (Articulate (gallery)). Featuring Ros Dunlop.

13 Oct 16: Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Gadigal Country). Featuring Ros Dunlop.

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