Neptune's Daughter (quartets: clarinet, percussion, piano, violin)
by Jessica Wells (2019)
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Neptune's Daughter, scored by Jessica Wells as a
commission from the Women in Music Festival of 2019,
is presented with the permission of the National
Film and Sound Archive of Australia, and features Australian
professional swimmer and vaudevillian star, Annette
Neptune's Daughter was made in 1914 by Universal Studios in Hollywood. Kellerman plays a mermaid who swears vengeance on the fisherman who trapped and killed her little sister in their nets. The film grossed over a million dollars and earned Kellerman the moniker of 'Million Dollar Mermaid', which then became the name of the biopic that starred Esther Williams.
A household name in the US, Kellerman was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume instead of the then-accepted pantaloons and advocated for the rights of women to wear these bathing suits in public. She helped popularise the sport of synchronised swimming and was the first major actress to ever appear nude in a Hollywood production.
There are only two reels out of the seven originals in existence. One is currently held in the National Film and Sound Archives of Australia and the other is held at Gosfilmofond of Russia.
Instrumentation: Piano, violin, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion.
Duration: 17 min.
Commission note: Commissioned in 2019 for the inaugural Women in Music Festival, RMIT Universtity
Score to accompany silent film provided by National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). Silent film movie file has embedded click track to output to headphones of performers.
- In the form/style of: Film & TV Music
Performances of this work
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