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Automatophone : for instrumental ensemble

by Caroline Wilkins (1991)

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[Music by] Caroline Wilkins.


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[Music by] Caroline Wilkins.

Library shelf no. CD 1067 [Available for loan]



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Work Overview

Automatophone was the name given to a mechanical musical instrument in the 1800's that consisted of free reeds and kettle drums incorporated into a musical box mechanism. I have been interested for some time in early methods of sound reproduction, in the play of historical time within musical time. These early sound sources led me to examine the relation between an instrument and its mechanism - a music surrounded by its mechanism, from which comes its presence as such, its particular diction or enunciation. Historical sound also carries with it the notion of the miniature, a process that takes place because of its very different sound quality, giving a different sense of spatiality in relation to the present time. The image of turning, of a mechanical memory, became the starting point for this work.

Work Details

Year: 1991

Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trombone, viola, double bass, percussion.

Duration: 13 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Conducter needed. Phrasing, balance difficulties.

Commission note: Commissioned by Ensemble Koln.

First performance: by Simone Young, Ensemble Koln — 14 May 91. Musikhochschule, Koln during the Rheinische Musikfest

Performances of this work

14 May 91: Musikhochschule, Koln during the Rheinische Musikfest. Featuring Simone Young, Ensemble Koln.

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