Stillness and the Moving

Stillness and the Moving

Andrew Vievers

27th May 2013

Inspired by the Floating Land festival theme of Nature’s Dialogue, I wanted to explore the structural nuances of a simple conversation. Of course, even simple conversations are never all that simple or straight forward. Not really. There are always subtle layers of meaning; humour, sadness, gentle advice, hidden disappointment, teasing innuendo, a little whisper for help.

So, even upon my first investigation of the theme, and how it might manifest itself in a piece of music, the apparent simplicity of one conversation revealed the reality of many conversations - between the flora and the fauna, between day and night, between mother nature and us pesky humans, between the physical senses and the imagination, and maybe even the ultimate little chat - between all of the above and time.

The compositional style and instrumentation that I chose to use for this piece are a symbolic representation of many of these themes. The short percussive sounds of the marimbas evoke the scampering, fluttering, scratching, digging, and general business of wildlife - the insects, crabs, birds, bugs, and even humans going about their life, while the long, sustained notes and phrases of the strings represent the rising and setting of the sun and moon and the slow, powerful and inevitable growth of plant life; constantly reaching.

These abstract notions are brought more clearly into focus and unified by the human voice, with lyrics drawn from the poem’s ‘Five Senses’ by Judith Wright and ‘Time” by Nate Hawk.

To further my investigation of the notion of a dialogue, I have both combined elements of the compositional ideas of minimalism within a simple binary form, as well as included a conversation within the orchestration; both within the voices of each ensemble as well as between the ensembles themselves.

Finally, this piece is intended as an underscore or accompaniment to the artworks and the natural setting that they’re both inspired by, drawn from, and will be located in, during this year’s festival.

A recording of the composition will also be available as a download from Floating Land website.
Photo: Andrew Vievers 2013, Photograph by Naomi Mawson.

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