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for solo percussionist and mass chamber ensemble including percussion

Year:  2003   ·  Duration:  17m
Instrumentation:  percussion soloist, flute, bass clarinet, contra bassoon, trumpet, 4 percussionists, drumkit, harp, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass

Year:  2003
Duration:  17m
Instrumentation  percussion soloist, flute, ...

Composer:   John Psathas


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The title roughly translatable as ‘conjunction’, Psyzygysm is an exhilarating chamber concerto that brings together an eclectic ensemble in support of the mallet percussion soloist. Psathas’ preoccupation with jazz and traditional music is synthesised in this work into an explosive, headlong rush. The piano, double bass and drum kit work together like the rhythm section of a jazz combo, the winds and string quartet feature wailing, Middle-Eastern-inspired melodies and the percussion quartet create a musical and visual focus to the piece that locks all the elements together. Psyzygysm is dedicated to the composer’s dear friend David Crossan, guardian techno-angel, saviour of computer crashes, and resurrector of long-lost files.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Carla Van Zon for Stroma at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts and the OrchestrUtopica, Portugal, with the support of Creative New Zealand and the Hattori Foundation

Dedication note

Dedicated to David Crossan - JP, 'my guardian techno-angel'

Performance history

13 Jun 2008: Grind Show

Performed by Pedro Carneiro (vibraphone and marimba), Lance Philip (percussion), Nick Tipping (bass), Donald Nicolson (piano) with Stroma - Mark Carter (trumpet), Bridget Douglas (flute), Patrick Barry (clarinet), Robert Weeks (bassoon), Su Yi (harp), Vessa-Matti Leppanen (violin), Rebecca Struthers (violin), Andrew Thomson (viola), Rowan Prior (cello), Jeremy Fitzsimons (marimba and percussion) and conducted by Hamish McKeich

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