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for mixed chamber quintet

Year:  2008   ·  Duration:  11m
Instrumentation:  flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello

Year:  2008
Duration:  11m
Instrumentation  flute, clarinet, piano, vio...

Composer:   Michael Norris

Films, Audio & Samples

Michael Norris: Blindsight;...

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Sample Score

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Human beings have a fragile relationship with reality: our beliefs are formed from a disordered stream of sensory impressions that flood our synapses. Although our brain is normally very good at packaging this into something that can get us through the day, certain pathological circumstances reveal the tenuous nature of reality. Blindsight is a condition in which a patient cannot “see” visual stimuli, and yet their body instinctively senses and reacts to them. This suggested a musical image: the two winds recite simple chordal gestures, which the strings reflect through a distorting mirror — “sensing” without “seeing”. The piano acts as an intensifying agent, sending flurrying signals down tangled pathways, and releasing static charges through the system.

blindsight was written for the Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Vienna, as part of the Sammlung Essl Music Series 2009.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Sammlung Essl, Vienna

Performance history

25 Apr 2009: Performed by Ensemble Pierrot Lunaire Wien at Schömerhaus near Vienna, Austria

09 Apr 2011: SMP Ensemble: XPΩMATA – COLOURS

07 Nov 2011: Stroma: New Sounds from New Zealand

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

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