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Terrestrial Mirror

for flute, viola and harp

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  15m

Year:  2006
Duration:  15m

Nigel Keay

Composer:   Nigel Keay

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: Terrestrial Mirror: 0'00" - 1'00"

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Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-3 of second movement

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'Terrestrial Mirror' was written in 2004 and is a contemplation on the idea of voyage and discovery, in both the physical and musical worlds. Now residing in Western Europe and being originally from New Zealand, the voyage to the antipodes has become a regular occurrence for me. The title "Terrestrial Mirror" refers to the Pacific Ocean, in fact a phrase coined by the New Zealand author Michael King, where he suggests that the Pacific Ocean with its scattered islands is somewhat of a reflection of the night sky. Each return to the Pacific evokes a contemplation of the multiple discoveries of New Zealand, first by Polynesian then European navigators. The choice of a work for Flute, Viola & Harp grew out of working with Eric Kohenoff & Alix Couillaud on Debussy's Sonata, and Jeffrey Harrington's Oneiromancer along with other repertoire of this instrumentation. In 'Terrestrial Mirror' the flute represents the sky and wind, the viola represents the sea, and the third instrument, the harp represents the land. The analogy in the instrumentation is of course the flute often soaring in the higher registers with the viola providing a sinuous and cohesive thread of mobile tonality as opposed to the relatively more constrained tonal shifts of the harp due to its diatonic-based construction. The number three is also symbolic with its connection to navigation (triangulation). The programme of the voyage of discovery is as follows: the first movement symbolizes embarkation, initial excitement, determination, anticipation, progressive nostalgia. The second and most interiorised movement, which is really the heart of the work, represents dislocation, introspection, doubt, desperation, and the third movement represents discovery, arrival, celebration etc.

Contents note

in three movements

Performance history

Performed by Eric Kohenoff (flute), Nigel Keay (viola), and Alix Couilland (harp)

Performed by Paolo Vignaroli (flute), Nigel Keay (viola) and Delphine Latil (harp).

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