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Pivotal Orbits

for orchestra

Year:  2002 Instrumentation:  3*3*3*2*; 4431; timp., 3 perc.; harp, piano/celeste; strings | (Perc: vib., glock., marimba, 5 wood blocks, 2 gongs, 2 tam-tams, 2 brake drums, 3 susp. cymbals, roto-toms, claves)

Year:  2002
Instrumentation  3*3*3*2*; 4431; timp., 3 pe...

Composer:   Chris Watson

Films, Audio & Samples

Kenneth Young interviews Ch...

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Sample Score

Sample: Page 1-8.

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During the composition of Pivotal Orbits, I was influenced by the sensual imagery of the following passage in Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer:

The earth is not an arid plateau of health and comfort, but a great sprawling female with velvet torso that swells and heaves with ocean billows; she squirms beneath a diadem of sweat and anguish. Naked and sexed she rolls among the clouds in the violet light of the stars. All of her blazes with furious ardour. She moves amongst the seasons and the years with a grand whoopla that seizes the torso with paroxysmal fury, that shakes the cobwebs out of the sky; she subsides on her pivotal orbits with volcanic tremors.

Pivotal Orbits is a portrayal of this tectonic restlessness and movement, existing in a lush sound environment, tied together by three recurring ideas that are in constant developmental flux.

Pivotal Orbits was premiered by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor Kazufumi Yamashita) at the Asian Music Festival, Tokyo, September 2003.

Performance history

19 Sep 2003: Premiere performance by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kazufumi Yamashita at the 2003 Asian Composers League in Tokyo, Japan.

15 Feb 2005: Performed in a rehearsed reading by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hamish McKeich as part of the NZSO-SOUNZ Readings

09 May 2008: Made in NZ: 2008

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