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Tabea Squire: Chimaera (4th...Embedded video
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Chimaera is a term to describe a mythical creature made of parts taken from various animals. It also describes concepts perceived as wildly imaginative.
This work is a set of four duets, each one featuring a different combination of Chinese and western instruments, portraying a kind of chimaera, melding sometimes disparate styles and instruments into a unified sound - a new creature. The first, for viola and guzheng, showcases the contrast of styles. The second is for violin and yangqin, a searching, almost romantic movement, with tight exchange between two instruments, as though they are journeying together.
The third duet features scordatura cello and xiao, the cello playing mostly harmonics, reflecting the xiao's tone; being very different instruments, however they do not imitate each other, but interact as though across distance. The fourth duet, for violin and pipa, is the most energetic and virtuosic. The instruments share much of the same material, and imitate each other's styles - sometimes quite overtly, as though purely for fun.
Commissioned by the New Zealand String Quartet, with funding from Creative New Zealand.