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The Pomegranate Cycle (dramatic music)

by Eve Klein (2010)

Pomegranate Cycle


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Work Overview

The Pomegranate Cycle is woven from song, sound textures and fragmented orchestration - a fragile, ebbing work, part sonic and part myth. The Pomegranate Cycle uses poetry and abstract language to convey a felt sense of narrative. It traces opera and the ghosts of women whose lives have been touched by violence. Elements of the Persephone story are strewn through symphonic timbres and ruptured with grain and glitch. A girl collecting flowers is stolen, transfigured, a mother seeks her lost child, and wreaks vengeance.

This is a new kind of opera. It deals with the genre's inability to reconcile its institutions and outmoded vision of romance with contemporary audiences. It rejects the gendered violence of opera, perpetuated in the tropes of dying sopranos. The Pomegranate Cycle embodies a new kind operatic heroine, who lives, reflects and heals. She is the spark for a women's centered opera, a highly configurable and living tradition where the singer is the composer and producer simultaneously.

This work demands deep listening. At once vast in scope yet intimate in execution, the album contains sixteen songs in three acts. It ranges from the girlish and pop-like Of Hymn, through the violent sonics of Ripping, to the subtle glitchings of Her Song. It is tied together by spoken story, theme and soundscape to form a complete work.

"It's pretty rare to find something so refreshingly unlike anything you have ever heard … The overall effect of [the] music is to immerse the listener in an operatic fever dream … Even if you aren't all that familiar with opera, 'The Pomegranate Cycle' makes for an expansive listening experience - the perfect antidote to an ear that's been aching from the tiresome repetition of modern pop." - Reviler

"contemporary music at its most relevant - simultaneously inward and outward focused in addressing the challenge of its existence and its capacity to produce something great" - Cyclic Defrost

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, dancer, laptop running Ableton Live software.

Duration: 72 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: 1. Inside -- 2. Portent (I) -- 3. Of Hymn -- 4. Ripping -- 5. Narcissus Bloom & the Rape of the Pomegranate -- 6. Searching -- 7. Portent (II) -- 8. Demeter's Lament -- 9. Land of Hades -- 10. Burning -- 11. Dissent -- 12. Portent (III) -- 13. Punishment -- 14. Seeds of Accusation -- 15. Her Song -- 16. Lullaby, A Hymn Reprised.

Dedication note: Dedicated to the she and we and us, women living beyond violence.

First performance: Sep 10. Brisbane Festival: Under the Radar Metro Arts, Brisbane

The composer notes the following genresassociated with this work:
electronica, opera, electroacoustic music, post-classical music.

Finalist, Vocal Work of the Year, 2014 AMC & APRA Art Music Awards

Performances of this work

Sep 10: Brisbane Festival: Under the Radar Metro Arts, Brisbane

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