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The quietest name of the wind

for chamber ensemble

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  8m
Instrumentation:  flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, vibraphone, viola, double bass

Year:  2006
Duration:  8m
Instrumentation  flute, clarinet, bass clari...

Composer:   Philip Brownlee

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-3

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The first stirrings of this piece coincided with the birth of my second child. So it may be heard as a small gesture of welcome. However, as often happens, musical development overtook any outward metaphorical expression, and I find myself scrabbling around afterwards to link the music to something beyond itself. The title is a phrase from Bill Manhire’s poem, ‘What to Call Your Child’, chosen for its intrinsic resonance, rather than any link to its original context. The child’s name is encoded in the music, not so much for its meaning, but for the tension generated when spontaneous composition is disrupted by the intrusion of arbitrary elements. Connections between the musical materials and images of growth, development, and disruption, and the natural environment mentioned in the title, can no doubt be found, but don’t take my word for it. Or, as Samuel Beckett put it, ‘What a rest to speak of bicycles and horns.’

Commissioned note

Commissioned by GateSeven with funding from Creative New Zealand

Dedication note

for Alex

Performance history