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dark nebulae : for saxophone quartet

by Lachlan Skipworth (2010)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Nexas Saxophone Quartet from the CD Current



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Current / Nexas Quartet.

Library shelf no. CD 2851 [Not for loan]

dark nebulae


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dark nebulae : for saxophone quartet / Lachlan Skipworth.

Library shelf no. Q 785.8714/SKI 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Dark nebulae are vast clouds of atomic dust found in the far reaches of outer space, their density blocking even light from passing through. This piece evokes the physical sensation of these colossal masses as they drift about, slowly twisting, stretching and colliding with each other. To do this, each saxophone plays almost exclusively multiphonics, whereby using an unconventional fingering - a thick and complex chord of several pitches at the same time is created. From eerie glowing consonances to grating dissonances, these multiphonics are layered and overlapped throughout the piece. Through the interplay between chords, one can hear wisps of translucent cloud strands, shrouded shapes moving imperceptibly, and surges of impenetrable

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Saxophone quartet (AATB).

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Jörg Widmann

First performance: by Klanglos (Musical group) — 11 Jun 11. Basel Hochschule fur Musik, Switzerland

With many thanks to Andrew Smith for assistance with saxophone multiphonics.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2013 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Instrumental Finalist Lachlan Skipworth


Resonate article: Nexas Quartet: Australian sounds for saxophones (and bicycle bells) by Samuel Cottell

Resonate article: ISCM World Music Days 2015 - Australian works by Australian Music Centre

Performances of this work

29 Nov 2016: at Current - Nexas Quartet (CD launch) (Sydney Opera House, Utzon Room). Featuring Nexas Saxophone Quartet.

11 Jun 11: Basel Hochschule fur Musik, Switzerland. Featuring Klanglos (Musical group).

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