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blessed unrest

for piano trio

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  7m 30s
Instrumentation:  violin, cello, piano

Year:  2006
Duration:  7m 30s
Instrumentation  violin, cello, piano

Composer:   James Gardner

Films, Audio & Samples

James Gardner: blessed unre...

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Kenneth Young introduces 'B...

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'blessed unrest', was one of six short pieces commissioned by the New Zealand Trio as "attention-grabbing" programme opening pieces. They wanted something that would start a concert "with all guns blazing"; a piece that ought to be "high-impact, dynamic and edgy". It took a long time until I found something that I thought satisfied this demand, as I didn't want to write an obviously motoric pulse-based piece. I wanted to create a sense of pent-up energy and its release in bursts. Many approaches were tried and rejected and while this was going on I came across the quote that gave the piece its title. I don't think my dissatisfaction with earlier versions of the piece was either 'queer' or 'divine' and I dislike the lofty tone, but parts of Martha Graham's statement nevertheless resonated with me: "There is vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not yours to determine how good it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is ever pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the New Zealand Trio

Performance history

15 Apr 2007: NZTrio: Waikanae

22 Apr 2007: NZTrio: Invercargill

24 Apr 2007: NZTrio: Nelson

26 Apr 2007: NZTrio: New Plymouth

27 Apr 2007: NZTrio: Palmertson North

29 Apr 2007: NZTrio: Wellington

30 Apr 2007: NZTrio: Upper Hutt

15 May 2007: Chamber Music NZ Celebrity Season Tour: NZ Trio

17 May 2007: Chamber Music NZ Celebrity Season Tour: NZ Trio

03 Aug 2008: Prodigal Songs

24 Nov 2009: Radio NZ Concert: NZTrio
Featuring: Radio New Zealand Concert

26 Oct 2010: Recording of performance by the NZTrio, comprising violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins at Music Theatre, University of Auckland in Auckland, was broadcast on "Sound Lounge", Radio New Zealand Concert

17 Apr 2012: New Zealand in L.A.

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