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Rays of the Sun, Shards of the Moon (2003)

Symphony orchestra (3.3.3.3;4.4.3.1;hp;pf;perc;str) [9']
Premiered by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, cond. Matthias Bamert
Recipient of the Douglas Lilburn Prize 2003

Rays of the Sun, Shards of the Moon is based on three different sets of "harmonic series" — the naturally occurring overtones of a freely vibrating body, such as a violin string. I orchestrated these harmonies to create a rich and strange intermingling of sounds amongst the orchestral palette. Out of this formless "sea" of instrumental washes, melodies begin to flourish in the woodwind and piano, and eventually the strings. Soon the figures become more rapid, more angular, and the harmonic series are abandoned for a freer use of pitches. But they return at the end as the brightness of the orchestration is attenuated, and we hear a brief flashback to the dark, moonlit landscape of Nightdances.


Audio extract


Score extract:

raysofthesun

 
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