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Birdstone : for 15 instruments / 2 groups, 1998 / Ivo van Emmerik

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1999
Publisher's number: 09996
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Large ensemble (12 or more players)
Scoring: 1111 1110 perc hp pf 2vl vla vc cb
Remarks: Voor fluit, hobo, klarinet, fagot, hoorn, trompet, bastrombone, harp, piano, slagwerker, 2 violen, altviool, cello en contrabas. - Met voorw. tevens in het Nederlands. - Geschreven voor Richard Rijnvos en het Ives Ensemble. - Cop. 1999. - Tijdsduur: ca. 27'
Duration: 27'00"
Number of players: 15
Year of composition: 1998
Status: not yet digitized (expected delivery time 14 days)

Other authors:
Emmerik, Ivo van (Composer)
Program note (English): Birdstone = small sculptures resembling birds, belonging to pre-historic North American Indian cultures, found east of the Mississippi. The music represents the 'delayed' observation of a musical sculpture. Where, from a musical viewpoint, space and colour prevail, time and pitch come to a standstill. Ellsworth Kelly once compared the effect of his paintings with 'birdstones'; they are concrete and at the same time magical and they have an aura of form, according to Kelly. He wishes his work, like bird stones, to have an 'eternal existence in the present'. The musicians are seated on stage, the ensemble being divided into two groups. The fifteen musicians operate individually as well as in groups. There is no conductor. Within the given time limits, a fragment is to be repeated several times by each player individually, each time in a different tempo. The music is built up in layers, each layer consisting of small groups of one to five players: from softly sparkling drones and
blurring harmonies to rhythmically distinct passages and loud bursts of sound. The composition of these groups changes several times in the course of the piece. The sound spectrum changes from homogeneous groups (string quartet, woodwinds, brass) seated far apart to heterogeneous groups spatially concentrated on one spot (e.g. clarinet, trumpet, piano, violin and 'cello at the left hand side of the stage and oboe, harp, percussion and viola at the right hand side), without the musicians actually changing places. This spatial conception brings to mind an association with bird stones - 'concrete and at the same time magical' -, with time as an added dimension. - IVO VAN EMMERIK

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