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Gyre (Ghosts with Accents)

for percussion quartet and orchestra

Composer:   James Gardner

Films, Audio & Samples

James Gardner: Gyre (Ghosts...

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James explains that he wanted to find a way of “acknowledging that the soloists and orchestra were located on different sides of the Pacific Ocean, so I read a number of accounts of Pacific voyages and myths, historical descriptions of what Europeans imagined the Pacific to be like and so on, but none of this gelled with the music I was writing. The opening of the piece has these swirling woodwind figures, and undulations in the strings, so at some point, I thought of the word ‘gyre’ and on the idea of referring to the North and South Pacific Gyres, and the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, where a vast quantity of marine plastic is accumulating. That then led to incorporating marine debris into one of the solo percussionist’s stations, and the use of recovered and recycled plastic pellets – also called “nurdles”– by the percussionists on bass drum and tam-tam, so the piece has at least some vague “environmental” resonances.”