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Sgraffito (2010)

Chamber orchestra (2.2.2.2;2.2.2.0;pf;3perc;8.6.5.4.2) [16']
Commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage. Premiered by the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra, cond. Peter Eötvös

In visual arts, the technique of sgraffito is the deliberate scratching of one layer of paint or plaster to reveal the underlying layer. Although used in the Renaissance, this technique was developed in the twentieth century most notably by American artist Cy Twombly. While this orchestral work does not attempt to exactly translate Twombly’s canvases into sound, it does take as a point of departure some of the shape and motion of the foregrounded “scratchings” juxtaposed against a more static, colour-field background. There is also an increasing (but unrequited) desire of the music to escape the inexpressive “frame” of background harmonies and erupt into something altogether more rhapsodic.


Audio extract


Score extract:

sgraffito

 
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