composer

Murashkin, Benjamin de

Benjamin de Murashkin was born in Denmark in 1981, but already at the age of one moved to Australia with his family, where he lived for 21 years before returning ...

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composition

Tarangeshu: Among the Waves : for viola, cello and 8 accordions / Benjamin de Murashkin

Publisher's number: 20614
Genre: Chamber music
Subgenre: Mixed ensemble (2-12 players)
Instruments: vla vc 8acc
Remarks: Commissioned by Paula Engel and Nicole & Pauline Hogstrand.
Duration: 12'00"
Number of players: 10
Year of composition: 2010 (rev. 2020)
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Description:
Having been commissioned to compose a piece for 8 accordions and a duet for viola and cello respectively, the idea arose to combine both commissions into a sort of double-concerto for viola and cello, surrounded by the accordions in the role of orchestra.
Tarangeshu means ‘Among the Waves’ in Sanskrit, the title being manifested by the way the music flows throughout the ranges of the instruments, both in terms of pitch and dynamics. Growing out of the lower depths of the accordions, the music evolves into contrasting sections of enormous swells, otherworldly drones and pounding energy, all held together by a small wavelike motif of undulating seconds.
Inspired by the original string players being identical twin sisters I attempted to musically combine their instruments into one. Using them both to create textures, rhythmic energy and melodies by interweaving their lines, it often becomes impossible to discern the instruments independently. These sections are contrasted with a slow contrapuntal movement where the strings get to speak more individually.
On the accordion side I wanted to explore the possibilities of texture that would arise from the use of out-of-sync minimalism-inspired patterns as well as making the most of the contrasts in density and sparseness afforded by this many full-ranged sustaining instruments. The accordions produce a great variety of soundscapes for the strings to rest upon, ranging from dreamy reverberations of the strings’ solo lines to swirling patterns that seem to float around the stereo field. And in true concerto-fashion the orchestra wastes no opportunity to take over proceedings and make its presence felt.
Having risen from the depths and begun to float, the piece finally culminates in multitudinous waves of harmonies soaring throughout the entire ensemble.
Benjamin de Murashkin

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