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Jeroen Speak: Silk Dialogue...Embedded video
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Silk Dialogue (VI) is the sixth in a series of works that I have been working on in the last few years related to the work I have been doing in Taiwan and China. It is the second piece that includes snare drums in addition to each players instrument; the previous one, Musik für witwen, jungfrauen und unschuldige, was also premiered by Stroma in 2004. In both cases the idea to do so was born from an interest in traditional Chinese opera, and the various uses of percussion. The Silk Dialogues take as their starting point the ancient Chinese musical notation (wen zi pu) particular to the guqin, a type of zither dating from the Nan Bei Chao Dynasty (around 1500 years ago). What interests me about the guqin's idiosyncratic notation system is its focus on the physical coordinates of the musical elements, seemingly unrelated to our Western notions of 'pitch'. It seems heavily weighted in favour of gesture, rather than pitch, a little like Chinese calligraphy.
A joint project with Elision (Australia) and Stroma (NZ). Commissioned by and dedicated to Richard Haynes, with the assistance of Creative New Zealand
Dedicated to Richard Haynes
23 Oct 2009: Performed by Elision, conducted by Hamish McKeich with Richard Haynes (solo clarinet) at the Awaki Auditorium in Melbourne
12 Aug 2010: Living Toys