Altered States

mandolin, guitar, harpsichord, percussion.

1988 rev. 1998: 8 mins.

  

"...Where do I stand in the pageantry,

whose is my voice?..."

                        from A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers, by Peter Hammill.

  

Altered States was commissioned by the ELISION Ensemble and premiered by them in Melbourne in August 1988, under the direction of Christopher Lyndon-Gee.

  

Cogs

keyboard percussion quartet (glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba).

2000: 3 mins. 15 secs.

  

Cogs can be performed either as a standalone work, or as the seventh of seven in the cycle The Eternal Surge.

  

“We measure time according to the movement of countless suns;

and they measure time by little machines in their little pockets.”

                                                            from Sand and Foam, by Kahlil Gibran.

  

“Just a little bit.

Just a little bit more time.

Time left to live out my life.”

                                        from The Musical Box, by Genesis. (Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford)

  

Cogs is dedicated to Peter Neville, in gratitude for his talent, patience and support.

It was premiered by SPEAK Percussion on 1-12-2000 at the Bennett’s Lane Jazz Lab, in Melbourne.

  

DisTanz

percussion quartet (assorted instruments):

2002: 9 mins. 20 secs.

  

German: distanz = distance / tanz = dance.

dis = a prefix from the Latin variously implying separation / negation / deprivation / thoroughness.

  

Although DisTanz is typically quite precisely constructed it will, in some regards at least, be somewhat loosely realised. It is scored for an assortment of so-called un-pitched percussion that is perhaps more closely allied to an industrial sound world than any other.

It is predominantly a mixture of metals and woods [ranging from wood pieces to steel bowls and saw blades] that will of necessity vary with what is available and/or can be begged, borrowed, or bought. And although these instruments are [mostly] called for in fours, there is quite deliberately no master plan to dictate that, for example, Steel Bowl 1 is pitched between Bottles 1 & 2, and the result may differ widely from one performance to the next.

The ideal set-up calls for the performers to surround the audience. This is also flexible given conducting considerations and the physical limitations of any given venue, and will likewise influence any individual performance.

DisTanz was commissioned by SPEAK Percussion, and premiered by them on 23/2/2003 at the Richmond Town Hall, Melbourne.

  

Ebb

keyboard percussion quartet (glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba).

2007: 2 mins. 45 secs.

  

Ebb can be performed either as a standalone work, or as the first of seven in the cycle The Eternal Surge.

  

“Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.”

                                                     Seneca (Roman philosopher, 1st century AD)

  

Ebb was premiered by SPEAK Percussion on 18-9-2010 at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

 

Matthias Schack-Arnott, Eugene Ughetti, Leah Scholes, Peter Neville.

  

InQuietude

percussion quartet (assorted instruments):

2011: 9 mins. approx.

  

InQuietude was premiered as part of the Melbourne Composers' League concert Four Colours: Gold, presented at Trinity Uniting Church, Black St. Brighton in November 2013, featuring percussionists Peter Neville, Dan Richardson, Timothy Phillips and Steve Falk, under the direction of Johanna Selleck.

 

Proxima

string quartet.

2001 rev. 2011: 15 mins. approx.

  

proxima: Latin: from proximus = nearest, next, adjoining, close.

  

Proxima was premiered by the Silo String Quartet, at the Church of All Nations, Carlton on 21/02/2015, as part of the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble composer portrait concert "...Like a Maelstrom", and featured Aaron Barnden & Atilla Kuti (violins), Phoebe Green (viola) and Caerwen Martin (cello).

Score Sample (PDF)

      

(L to R) Aaron Barnden -- Atilla Kuti  -- Phoebe Green -- Caerwen Martin

Photos: Kevin English

 

Puck (transcription)

flute, violin, viola, 'cello.

2014: 3 mins. 30 secs.

  

Puck was originally written for flute and vibraphone, and transcribed in 2014 for quartet. Although both versions retain many obvious similarities, they each incorporate distinct treatments of some of the material, and this later version is just a little longer coming in at about 3½ minutes.

Puck (transcription) was premiered at the Melbourne Composers' League concert Spring Rejuvenation, Trinity Uniting Church, Black St. Brighton on 14/09/2014, featuring Johanna Selleck (flute), Aaron Barnden (violin), Ceridwen Davies (viola) and Caerwen Martin (cello).

 

  

re-subver-decon

bass clarinet, piano, violin, viola.

2012: 7 mins. 15 secs.

Score Sample (PDF)

  

The Eternal Surge

keyboard percussion quartet (glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba).

2000/2010: 30 mins. approx.

  

“How little do we know that which we are!

How less what we may be!

The eternal surge of time and tide rolls on,

and bears afar our bubbles:

as the old burst, new emerge,

Lash'd from the foam of ages;

while the graves of empires heave

but like some passing waves.”

                                     from Don Juan (Canto XV), by Lord Byron.

  

“Let's go down to where it's clean

To see what time it might have been

The tides have carried off the beach

As you said

The sun is out of reach”

                                     from As You Said, by Jack Bruce & Pete Brown.

  

 

(i) Ebb 

(glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba)

2007: 2 mins. 45 secs. approx.

“Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.”

                                                     Seneca (Roman philosopher, 1st century AD)

Ebb was premiered by SPEAK Percussion on 18-9-2010 at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

  

(ii) PNEUma 

(vibraphone, marimba)

2004 rev. 2008: 5 mins. approx.

pneuma: n. The soul or vital spirit, psyche, ego, mind, self.

PNEUma was premiered by SPEAK Percussion at the Incinerator Arts Complex as part of the Big West Festival in Melbourne on 24/11/2007, with its first European performance by Pedro Carneiro and Mario Teixeira in Tomar (Portugal) in June 2009.

Score Sample (PDF)

  

(iii) ...as the waves... 

(solo vibraphone)

2007: 5 mins. 30 secs. approx.

"Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end,

Each changing place with that which goes before..."

                                               from Sonnet 60, by William Shakespeare.

Score Sample (PDF)

  

(iv) ...tempus fugit... 

(glockenspiel, xylophone)

2010: 3 mins. approx.

"Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore."

(But meanwhile it flees: time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail).

                                                                                from Georgics, by Virgil.

  

(v) Pro Tempore 

(solo marimba)

2002 rev. 2004: 7 mins. 30 secs. approx.

"...Since there is nothing but this moment, 'for the time being' is all the time there is."

                                                                              Dogen Zenji (1200-1253).

Score Sample (PDF)

  

(vi) Clash 

(xylophone, vibraphone)

2006: 3 mins. approx.

"Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.”

                            from Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, by Dylan Thomas.

Clash was premiered by SPEAK Percussion on 18-9-2010 at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Score Sample (PDF)

  

(vii) Cogs 

(glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba)

2000: 3 mins. 15 secs. approx.

“We measure time according to the movement of countless suns;

and they measure time by little machines in their little pockets.”

                                                            from Sand and Foam, by Kahlil Gibran.

  

“Just a little bit.

Just a little bit more time.

Time left to live out my life.”

       from The Musical Box, by Genesis. (Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford)

Cogs was premiered by SPEAK Percussion on 1-12-2000 at the Bennett’s Lane Jazz Lab, in Melbourne.

   

All seven works can be performed individually, or as part of the larger work.

  

Tortus

oboe, vibraphone, guitar, viola.

2011/2018: 26 mins. approx.

  

By mid 2012, movements 1 and 4 had been completed, but a series of other projects (e.g. …like a Maelstrom : double concerto for piano, trumpet and small orchestra) kept me from finally completing Tortus until May 2018. For oboe, vibraphone, guitar, and viola, it is in six movements, of which …in Coils, Twist, Espiral, and Turn are eminently suitable for extraction and performance as separate works in their own right.

  

(i) …in Coils.

oboe, viola.

2011: 4’30” approx.

“…the Drawling-master…taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.”

from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

“…Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims,

And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken…”

from Sonnet : To Eva by Sylvia Plath.

(ii) Twist.

guitar, viola.

2018: 2’15” approx.

“...These waking dreams of life and death,  

In the mirror are twisted and buckled…

....I'd search out every knowledge that I could find,  

Unravel all the mysteries of mind,  

If I only had time...”

from Sleepwalkers by Peter Hammill.

(iii) Curve.

vibraphone, guitar, viola.  

2018: 1’00” approx.

“Given time we lead the lives we make.

The curve that we trace in time, a shape of our own design.”

from Given Time by Peter Hammill.

(iv) Espiral.

oboe, vibraphone.  

2012: 7’45” approx.

(a) 2’00” approx. (b) 2’45” approx. (c) 3’00” approx.

espiral (Spanish) = spiral

“The spiral is a spiritualized circle. In the spiral form, the circle, uncoiled, unwound, has ceased to be vicious; it has been set free…”

from Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov.

(v) Turn.

vibraphone, viola.

2018: 4’15” approx.

“Turn a card, turn a page,

the action sure to start, second-stage reaction

to illogical thoughts on random lines…

……Here we are, there we went, full circle…”

from Shell by Peter Hammill.

(vi) Tortility.

oboe, vibraphone, guitar, viola.

2018: 6’15” approx.

(a) 2’00” approx. (b) 2’10” approx. (c) 2’05” approx.

tortile (adj): twisted or coiled.

tortility (noun).

from Latin : tortilis – winding, from tortus – twisted.

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