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String Orchestra

winding down

minimum 4,4,2,2,2.
2015: 11 mins. 30 secs.

winding down is for String Orchestra: minimum forces of 4/4/2/2/2, divided as follows:
2+2/2+2/1+1/1+1/1 +1

The players should be spaced evenly in the following sequence: Cb1 – Vc1 – Va1 – Vn2.a – Vn1.a – Vn1.b – Vn2.b – Va2 – Vc2 – Cb2

“Cylinder teeth comb the signature tune
Audience breathless, my dance has resumed.
Prima ballerina only when wound…
…Pirouette until the lid’s closed.
…the key to life is winding down
…out of breath, out of time…..
motionless………sans la musique”

from Musique Box, lyrics by Madeleine McKenzie

“Sans musique la vie serait une erreur”

from Twilight of the Idols, by Friedrich Nietzsche

…floating in the void…

minimum 4,4,2,2,1.
1995 rev. 2005: 8 mins. 30 secs.

…floating in the void… is for String Orchestra: minimum forces of 4/4/2/2/1, divided as follows: 2+2/2+2/1+1/1+1/1

The ideal performance set-up would see a relatively small audience seated in a circle (preferably on the floor) facing inwards to where the conductor would be standing. The audience would in turn be encircled by the players, who would be spaced evenly in the following sequence: Vn1.a – Vn2.a – Va1 – Vc1 – Cb – Vc2 – Va2 – Vn2.b – Vn1.b

Lighting should be kept to the minimum required for performance, and the audience should be encouraged to listen to the performance with their eyes closed.

In circumstances where this is clearly not a practical possibility, the players should at least be spread in sequence as much as possible to at least partially convey the effect the ideal set-up would realise. In all such cases, the solitary Cb should be situated centre-front in relation to the audience.

“…I am now quite alone…
here floating in the void,
only dimly aware of existence,
a dimly existing awareness…”

from Pioneers over c, by Peter Hammill.

…floating in the void… was premiered by the Arcko Symphonic Project at the Richmond Uniting Church, Melbourne, on 30/5/2009, under the direction of Timothy Phillips.

Score Sample (PDF)

Arcko Symphonic Project / Timothy Phillips.