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and the snow's lace is spread there like sea foam

for mixed chamber sextet

Year:  2001   ·  Duration:  13m
Instrumentation:  flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, bass trombone, cello and bass

Year:  2001
Duration:  13m
Instrumentation  flute, clarinet, bass clari...

Composer:   Neville Hall

Films, Audio & Samples

Neville Hall: and the snow'...

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Sample Audio

Sample: 0:00-1:00

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Sample Score

Sample: pp20-27

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There are two main forces shaping this work, which could be thought of as an "internal" force and an "external" force. The internal force is a process of growth that begins with a complex event heard towards the end of the composition. Variations of this event fan out in all directions across the work's temporal space, ensuring that every event has a relationship, however distant, to every other event. The detailed crafting of each event, with its constant microscopic fluctuations in pitch and timbre, reflects the detailed activity in a spectral analysis of the title of the piece, a line from one of Ezra Pound's Cantos. This analysis is expanded to have the same duration as the composition, so that the entire work is, on one level, an elaboration of a few seconds of spectral activity. The harmonic content of the spectrum is not, however, reflected in this rendering, but rather the morphology, with its evocative twistings, compressions and expansions. The harmonic organisation forms a third structural layer. It originates in the first five odd numbered partials of the natural harmonic series, built on the log 'G', an octave below the bass clef. Each partial forms the centre of a narrow band of pitches, from which the "melodic" material is drawn. Ultimately, however, the resulting contrapuntal writing is largely submerged in the surface timbral activity, as the other two structural layers tear at and distort its fabric.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by 175 East, with assistance from Creative New Zealand

Dedication note

Dedicated to Jim Gardner and 175 East, with gratitude for their hard work and commitment

Performance history

19 May 2002: Performed by 175 East; Hopetoun Alpha, Auckland