Ode to Damascus : for flutes, clarinet, violin, cello and piano
by May Lyon (2016)
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A tribute to both the past and present of Damascus, a place that is considered to be the oldest continually inhabited city on earth and has seen the rise and fall of many great empires.
The first half shows two sides of life in Damascus that have been present throughout millennia: loss through war, alternating with the bustling city itself. Loss is imagined as a woman singing a lament, walking from the desolate outskirts and eventually merging with the city, her voice rising into a cry. The city is busy, constantly moving and changing.
The second half is water, in reference to Damascus' location close to the Barada River and the many streams that flowed from this river into the city. For centuries Damascus was a beautiful green oasis, however various modern changes have affected this, so that the river no longer feeds the city during drought.
Instrumentation: Piccolo/alto flute, clarinet in B flat, violin, cello, piano.
Duration: 9 min.
Contents note: I. Lament & Metropolis -- II. Water.
Commission note: Commissioned for Melbourne Recital Centre / University of Melbourne with the support of Majlis Pty Ltd
First performance: by Syzygy Ensemble — 11 Aug 16. Melbourne Recital Centre
Ode to Damascus
Performances of this work
6 Jul 2018: at Forest Collective: Berceuse (Church of All Nations).
11 Aug 16: Melbourne Recital Centre. Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.
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