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GRAVE (2000)

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Chamber orchestra:1+ Picc,1,1,1/ 1,1 (C trumpet),1,1/ 2,1,1,1 (5 string bass) piano, harp, electric guitar and 2 percussion. (18 players)
Duration 13 minutes
Premiere 6th October 2000, MusikFabrik, ISCM world Music Days in Luxembourg
Programme note
GRAVE is a dark, contemplative and pessimistic piece. Perhaps more than anything else, it presents obsessive arguments about possibilities of closure and completion and the modulation of the object by the formal situation (personal, political, musical). To reformulate an axiom of quantum theory, how does an event affect the observer?

The narrative strands are developed in material (i.e. musical) means through the transcription of various electronic signal treatments (particularly ring modulation - for example in the austere first movement) and the revisiting of materials within changing contexts; fragments of the first movement are periodically inserted into the fabric of the second.

Entwined within the piece, providing its centre and overall atmosphere, is Ernest Jones's memory of his last meeting with Freud:-

On 19 September I was sent for to say good-bye to him and called him by name as he dozed. He opened his eyes, recognized me and waved his hand, then dropped it with a highly expressive gesture that conveyed a wealth of meaning: greetings, farewell, resignation. It said as plainly as possible, 'The rest is silence'.

GRAVE was commissioned by Ensemble MusikFabrik NRW. (IW)

This page was last updated on 5th April 2008