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Sun of Orient Crimson with Excess of Light
Winner of the IV category of the IX International Piano Competition Smederevo 2022.
ISMN : 979-0-2325-6281-0
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Sun of Orient Crimson with Excess of Light (2020)
This piece for piano and electronics is one of a series of works inspired by the writings of the physicist and explorer John Tyndall (1820-93).Although remembered as a scientist, Tyndall was also a poet, inspired by his avid reading of Shelley, Keats, Byron, Wordsworth, Cowper, Campbell, Burns and, especially, Tennyson, Emerson and Goethe. Hisown forays into poetry writing started early in his career.
The particular inspiration for this piece is a passage from Tyndall’s poem A Morning on Alp Lusgen, from the final section of his 1882 collection of essays and memoirs, New Fragments, evoking his sense of wonder at the majesty of the landscape; images of sheer, steep declines, the hot sun and lush vegetation.
The sun has cleared the peaks and quenched the flush
Of orient crimson with excess of light.
The tall grass quivers in the rhythmic air
Without a sound; yet each particular blade
Trembles in song, had we but ears to hear.
The hot rays smite us, but a quickening breeze
Keeps languor far away. Unslumbering,
The soul enlarged takes in the mighty scene.
The plummet from this height must sink afar
To reach yon rounded mounds which seem so small.
Musically, this suggested the idea of combining the conventionally played live piano against a range of sampled and treated “extended” piano sounds on tape, especially timbres obtained from inside the piano: plucked and muted strings, harmonics, bowed sounds…
The piece was written for Isabelle O’Connell, who has made a speciality of works for electronics and piano, and who premiered it March 2020, at the Finding A Voice Festival, in Clonmel. My thanks to Directors, Roisin and Cliona Maher and to Sound Engineer Eoin Barry.
It is dedicated to Isabelle O’Connell with grateful thanks and appreciation.
Pages - 22
Joan Gómez Alemany