ae14—Exiles-for Clarinet, Guitar, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Contrabass and fixed format 4 channel electronics

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ae14—Exiles-for Clarinet, Guitar, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Contrabass and fixed format 4 channel electronics

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The work commenced as a kind of ‘musical puzzle:’ ‘I wonder if I could write a work that is in fact two works drawn from the same material and argued from two different perspectives?’ So, I decided to write for an instrument to be pre-recorded and thus separate physically from the ensemble, and then for this to be played concurrently with the music written for the ensemble. I then created the opening bars of the work which served as the basis for the arch-like structure for the live instruments as well as for the set of forty-two variations for digitally processed mandolin on two stereo tapes.
The work is full of mirror processes both in the larger formal sense down to small details. The ensemble’s music is a palindromic arch-like structure focused on a vertical (time) axis, while the mandolin’s quadraphonic variations also work palindromically but on a horizontal (spatial) axis.
Given these formal ideas to solve, I began thinking of the piece much like the memory of being in a large, but incomplete, structure where one can see into the other rooms and still to the outside and sky, etc. Or, as if one were in a cave or cavern with its attendant resonances, architecture and mystery.
Having thought the work through this far, I planned the entire piece at once and worked to this plan. The architecture of the work being supported by a strong tonal design and its reflections, permutations and superimpositions. In this way, I have created a work that is has a strong and logical structure supporting a dramatic and dark content.
The piece was commissioned ELISION with the assistance of the Australia Council Music Board. The work is dedicated to Daryl Buckley, Stephen Morey and ELISION in
gratitude.

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