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At the Edge of Silence

for chamber quintet

Year:  2003   ·  Duration:  11m
Instrumentation:  flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Year:  2003
Duration:  11m
Instrumentation  flute, clarinet, violin, ce...

Ross Harris

Composer:   Ross Harris

Films, Audio & Samples

Ross Harris: At the edge of...

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Sample Score

Sample: pages 2-9

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At the Edge of Silence was commissioned by Chamber Music New Zealand for performance by Stroma. The work was a finalist in the 2004 SOUNZ Contemporary Award. As the title suggests, the work hovers on the edge of audibility but it is also about memory – memories half forgotten – distorted over time. Part of the expression of this ‘distortion’ is invoked by the substantial use of quarter-tone inflections of melody and harmony.

At the edge of silence is in a single movement which is symmetrical around a musical quotation which drifts into the centre of the piece. Before and after this quotation the music unfolds around solo lines for each to the wind and string instruments in turn. The piano supplies echoes and resonances of the melodies and harmonies and also acts as a foil to the micron-tuning of the other instruments. The work was inspired by the virtuosity of the stroma ensemble.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Chamber Music New Zealand for Stroma's tour in April-May 2004, with funding from Creative New Zealand

Performance history

02 Apr 2004: Performed by Stroma; Nelson School of Music

20 Jun 2006: Performed by Gageego! and conducted by Gunno Palmquist at the Goteborg Concert Hall in 2006, presented by the International Association of Music Information Centres.

18 Mar 2015: At The Edge of Silence | Horizont Musik-Kollektiv Launch Concert

Premiered by Stroma: Bridget Douglas (flute), Patrick Barry (clarinet), Vesa-Matti Leppanen (violin), Rowan Prior (cello), and Emma Sayers (piano), Hamish McKeich (conductor) in Wellington Town Hall

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