sync_for_me (1): Gothick Yarns, Motley Ridotto & Sweet, Sweet Syllabub : for faux court orchestra
by Nicholas Vines (2018)
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Performance by Ensemble Apex, Sam Weller from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 97.
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Library shelf no. CD 2967 [Available for loan]
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Reason gets a hard time these days. In public discourse, the thinking behind modern science, technology and governance often plays second fiddle to personal relationships and feelings. sync_for_me(1) is my reaction to that. This piece is modelled on the early Classical symphony, which addressed a similar imbalance, albeit from the perspective of too much, rather than too little reason. In the mid-eighteenth century, certain German composers - notably Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - reacted against the ultra-rationality of established musical style by embracing what they saw as the genuine, spontaneous nature of emotion. While sync_for_me(1) sounds nothing like C.P.E. Bach's symphonies, it is nevertheless a sort of spiritual cousin. The most obvious connections are the three-movement form, and the scoring for 'faux court orchestra'; that is, a Classical orchestra, augmented here with extra woodwind, percussion and electronics. There is also a shared focus on expression, as demonstrated in both cases by 'melancholic' (slow) tempi and active manipulation of expectation through surprise and contrast. Most importantly, although they are coming from opposite directions, the two musics have the same goal: a fulfilling balance between reason and emotion. I guess the moral of both stories is that you cannot express meaningfully without logic, and you can't make logic meaningful without expression… My heartfelt thanks to Sam Weller and Ensemble Apex for bringing this work to life.
Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 Bb clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, percussion (3 players), piano, triggering keyboard (electronics), strings.
Duration: 16 min.
Commission note: Commissioned for and by Sam Weller & Ensemble Apex
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