by Andrew Schultz (1988)
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This sample is from the Quartets: Clarinet, piano, viola, cello version of this work
From the CD Tapestry
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On the Illawarra escarpment overlooking the sea, Barren Grounds is a wilderness reserve and bird breeding area. With a strange and otherworldly landscape - stunted growth and marshy ground - the place feels still, yet the barren, eerie surface conceals a fecund underlife. For me, the place occupies a state of mind; this, rather than any programmatic intention, prompted the title.
Movement 1, is a slow, lyrical and sinewy reworking of a vocal piece, Seafarer whose final line: "And learn to sleep upon this ground", with its reference to mortality, suggested the passacaglia form used.
Paul Klee's ornithological automaton painting, The Twittering Machine gives Movement 2 its inspiration. The musical intention at times resembles an ungainly machine that keeps running awry and needs to be wound-up again. Spinning out rhythmic fragments and employing mosaic technique are recurrent preoccupations.
Perihelion commissioned the work with funding from the Performing Arts Board, Australia Council.
Duration: 16 min.
Version for clarinet, violin cello and piano is titled Barren grounds 2.
Performances of this work
27 Oct 88: University of Queensland. Featuring Perihelion.
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